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Phillies, Pivetta set for final spring matchup with Blue Jays

Nick Pivetta
Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta before his spring debut on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin, Florida. Pivetta (13 1/3 innings) is tied with right-hander Ben Lively (19) for allowing the most hits this spring among Phillies pitchers, 14. (Frank Klose/Sports Talk Philly)

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

After five meetings this spring, the Philadelphia Phillies (10-15-1) and Toronto Blue Jays (12-13) will square off for the final time, as RHP Nick Pivetta opposes RHP Marcus Stroman Wednesday afternoon at Dunedin Stadium.

With a win, the Phillies would split the six Grapefruit League meetings with the Blue Jays. Manager Gabe Kapler's squad won the most recent meeting with Toronto in a six-inning, rain-shortened contest on Tuesday, 2-0. Third baseman Pedro Florimon's RBI triple and left fielder Collin Cowgill's RBI groundout in the second inning was the only produced offense for either side. Starter-hopeful RHP Ben Lively tossed five scoreless frames, allowing no walks and three hits while striking out four.

Just seven Grapefruit League games remain overall before the Phillies head to SunTrust Park in Atlanta for Opening Day on March 29.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (10-15-1) Toronto Blue Jays (12-13)
RHP Nick Pivetta RHP Marcus Stroman
(0-3, 5.40 ERA) (spring debut)

Pivetta, 25, will make his fifth start this spring and his second against the Blue Jays. The right-hander has surrendered two runs or less in three of his appearances thus far. Pivetta has surrendered a home run in each of his outings, while striking out 11 batters in 13 1/3 combined innings.

Stroman, 26, will make his 2018 Grapefruit League debut after being shut down in late February  with right shoulder inflammation. Stroman threw two scoreless innings opposite the Canadian National Junior Team and Braden Halladay, son of the late Roy Halladay, on Saturday.

Starting Lineups:

Philadelphia Phillies (10-15-1) Toronto Blue Jays (12-13)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 2B Cesar Hernandez S 1 SS Danny Espinosa* S
2 LF Rhys Hoskins R 2 2B Devon Travis R
3 3B Maikel Franco R 3 3B Josh Donaldson R
4 1B Carlos Santana S 4 DH Randal Grichuk R
5 CF Aaron Altherr R 5 CF Teoscar Hernandez R
6 RF Nick Williams L 6 C Luke Maile R
7 C Cameron Rupp R 7 1B Jason Leblebijian* R
8 SS Ryan Flaherty* L 8 RF Roemon Fields* L
9 DH Roman Quinn S 9 LF Andrew Guillotte R

* non-roster invitee

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 1:07 p.m.
  • TV: N/A
  • Radio:

Game Notes:

  • Blue Jays right-hander Seung-hwan Oh will make his Blue Jays debut on Wednesday, as the South Korean native  obtained his work visa and was limited to throwing just batting practice and bullpen sessions prior.
  • The Phillies will next host the Blue Jays for a three-game weekend series May 25-27. The two clubs will then meet August 24-26 for a three-game weekend set at the Rogers Centre.
  • Stroman was slated to be the Blue Jays' Opening Day starter, however due to injury it is expected the nod will instead go to former Phillies southpaw J.A. Happ. Stroman will debut on April 1 against the Yanekes, according to manager John Gibbons.
  • Phillies RHP Mark Leiter Jr. was diagnosed on Tuesday with a mild flexor strain in his right arm. Leiter Jr. is expected to be sidelined until late April or early May, according to's Matt Breen. Leiter Jr. posted promising stats this spring, including his 17-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 12 1/3 innings.
  • Early Wednesday morning, the Phillies reassigned non-roster invitee outfielder Danny Ortiz to minor league camp, shrinking the big league camp size to 43 players. Ortiz hit .200 this spring with a home run and three RBI in 20 at-bats.
  • The Phillies also released non-roster invitee LHP Fernando Abad, electing not to add him to the 40-man roster by Thursday's deadline, per's Todd Zolecki.

Spring Training Roster Breakdown, (entering March 21, 2018):

Total Major League Camp Roster: 42 players

40-Man Roster (40 -1):

  • Major League Camp (32):
    • Left-handed pitchers (3): Zac Curtis, Hoby Milner, Adam Morgan
    • Right-handed pitchers (15): Victor Arano, Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin, Jerad Eickhoff, Luis Garcia, Tommy Hunter, Mark Leiter Jr., Ben Lively, Hector Neris, Pat Neshek, Aaron Nola, Nick Pivetta, Edubray Ramos, Jake Thompson, Vince Velasquez
    • Catchers (3): Jorge Alfaro, Andrew Knapp, Cameron Rupp
    • Infielders (5): J.P. Crawford, Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Santana, Jesmuel Valentin
    • Outfielders (6): Aaron Altherr, Pedro FlorimonOdubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins, Roman Quinn, Nick Williams
  • Designated for Assignment (-1): Eliezer Alvarez
  • Minor League Camp (8):
    • Left-handed pitchers (1): Ranger Suarez
    • Right-handed pitchers (6): Drew Anderson, Seranthony Dominguez, Franklyn KilomeRicardo Pinto, Yacksel Rios, Jose Taveras
    • Catchers (0):
    • Infielders (0):
    • Outfielders (1): Dylan Cozens

Non-Roster Invitees (21):

  • Major League Camp (10):
    • Left-handed pitchers (0):
    • Right-handed pitchers (4): Pedro Beato, Tom Eshelman, Drew Hutchison, Francisco Rodriguez
    • Catchers (1): Matt McBride
    • Infielders (4): Ryan FlahertyScott KingeryWill MiddlebrooksAdam Rosales
    • Outfielders (1): Collin Cowgill
  • Minor League Camp (11):
    • Left-handed pitchers (2): Cole Irvin, Brandon Leibrandt
    • Right-handed pitchers (2): Enyel De Los Santos, J.D. Hammer
    • Catchers (3): Edgar CabralLogan MooreNick Rickles
    • Infielders (2): Heiker Meneses, Mitch Walding
    • Outfielders (2): Danny OrtizAndrew Pullin

What's Next:

  • Thursday, March 22, 2018: vs. Detroit Tigers, 1:05 p.m.
    • Spectrum Field, Clearwater, Fla.
    • LHP Matthew Boyd (3-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (Phillies spring debut)
    • TV: NBCSP+; Radio:


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