Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Grapefruit Game 32 - 2017 Topps Update #US160 Andrew Knapp & Ben Lively

Phillies 6, Pirates 3
Spring Training Game 32 - Monday Afternoon, March 26th in Bradenton
Record - 13-17-2

One Sentence Summary:  Scott Kingery and Andrew Knapp both homered for the Phillies and Vince Velasquez threw four shutout innings in this 6-3 win over the Pirates.

What It Means:  The Phillies will play their final spring training game on Tuesday afternoon in Clearwater.

What Happened:  A day after signing his big contract extension, Kingery hit his fifth home run of the spring and enjoyed a three-hit day.  J.P. Crawford had a two-run single in the second.

Featured Card:  Back-up catchers don't get a lot of attention, but Knapp had a decent spring behind the plate leading to the Phillies parting ways with Cameron Rupp.  His first Topps flagship card is shared with Ben Lively, who will start the season in the starting pitching rotation until Jake Arrieta is ready.  The final spot was going to come down to Lively or Zach Eflin and Eflin was optioned to the minors before this game.

2017 Topps Archives #154
Camp Head Count:  33 - 3 = 30.  The opening day roster seems all but set at this point.  Outfielder Roman Quinn along with pitchers Zac Curtis and Eflin were optioned to the IronPigs.  In a procedural move, Rupp was released.

The Phillies need to remove five more players at this point, which they'll accomplish by putting Jerad Eickhoff (back), Tommy Hunter (hamstring) and Mark Leiter, Jr. (elbow) on the disabled list to start the season.  Will Middlebrooks, the solo non-roster invitee still around, broke his leg in late February so he'll be reassigned to the minors and presumably spend the first part of the season on a minor league disabled list.

Jake Arrieta will either be optioned to the minors or placed on the disabled list until his scheduled first start on April 8th.

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