Monday, March 26, 2018

Grapefruit Game 31 - 2017 Bowman Draft #BD-114 Scott Kingery

Orioles 6, Phillies 5
Spring Training Game 31 - Sunday Afternoon, March 25th in Clearwater
Record - 12-17-2

One Sentence Summary:  Roster moves and a blockbuster contract for Scott Kingery overshadowed this final weekend game in Clearwater as the Phillies lost to the Orioles, 6-5.

What It Means:  I always anxiously await the start of spring training, but then after a few weeks, I can't wait for it to be over.  The television broadcast today, along with all of social media, was dominated by talk of who will make the final 25-man roster and Kingery's big contract (see below).

What Happened:  In the game, Nick Pivetta threw three scoreless innings.  Rhys Hoskins hit his 5th home run and Maikel Franco added his 6th home run.  Aaron Altherr had a pair of hits.

Featured Card:  It had to be Kingery.  For the record, I'm extremely excited for this season to start.

2018 Topps #308
Camp Head Count:  35 - 2 = 33.  On Sunday morning, veteran catcher Cameron Rupp was designated for assignment and the Phillies selected the contract of pitcher Drew Hutchison.  Hutchison's role will most likely be long reliever in the Phillies bullpen to start the season.  It was a tough break for Rupp, who like Freddy Galvis and Tommy Joseph before him, found himself without a clear role on this younger team.  Rupp could end up back with the IronPigs to start the season if he doesn't latch on with another team.

During the game, the major announcement came that not only had Kingery made the opening day roster, the Phillies had signed him to six-year, $24 million contract extension with club options for 2024, 2025 and 2026.  It's the longest and richest contract ever for a player yet to play a major league game.  Kingery is expected to serve in a super utility role, getting starts at every infield and outfield position.  Long-term, he'll eventually settle in as the team's regular second or third baseman.  All that remains to be determined at this point is what number Kingery will switch to from his current #80.

Reliever Ricardo Pinto was designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Kingery.  Jesmuel Valentin was optioned to Triple-A, although his solid spring makes him a likely candidate to be recalled at some point this season.

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