PHILADELPHIA -- Rhys Hoskins hopped onto MLB Network late Thursday night to talk about the Phillies, but unexpectedly found himself watching the monitor in front of him as Jim Thome dissected his swing.Thome is a big Hoskins fan."That was one of the cooler moments of my career, I think," Hoskins
PHILADELPHIA -- Rhys Hoskins hopped onto MLB Network late Thursday night to talk about the Phillies, but unexpectedly found himself watching the monitor in front of him as Jim Thome dissected his swing.
Thome is a big Hoskins fan.
"That was one of the cooler moments of my career, I think," Hoskins said before Friday night's game against the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. "Just having him tell me that he really likes my swing. I mean, that guy was pretty good. Not only is he a Hall of Famer, but he did it here, too. It was really, really cool. I was pretty starstruck."
Thome broke down Hoskins' leg kick and his stride toward home plate.
"The thing is, when he comes off of the leg kick and he strides, it's not an up and down pound," Thome said. "It's a glide out, which I think keeps his bat, he keeps his eyes, everything where he needs to be for a big guy."
"One-hundred percent," Hoskins said, agreeing with the Hall of Famer's analysis. "Jim talked about the glide and a soft front foot. If I can ride my front hip out, I think it allows my barrel to stay in the zone as long as possible, and I think that's kind of what we're looking for as hitters."
"Fella," Thome said. "It's why he's a monster."
Hoskins is putting up monster numbers since he joined the Phillies last August. He entered Friday with a 1.037 OPS in 286 plate appearances. It ranks fourth in baseball in that span (minimum 250 plate appearances) behind only Boston's J.D. Martinez (1.116), New York's Aaron Judge (1.087) and Chicago's Kristopher Bryant (1.052).
Hoskins has 53 walks and 64 strikeouts in that stretch. The only other player in baseball with as many walks and as few strikeouts is Cincinnati's Joey Votto. He has 54 walks and 36 strikeouts.
Arano keeps putting up zeros
Phillies rookie Victor Arano has retired the first 25 batters he has faced this season. He has retired 32 consecutive batters, dating to last season.
"I think he had some success early and all of a sudden he's feeling really good about himself," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "There's a lot of confidence when he comes in from the bullpen. And then very directly, he's executing his pitches."
Arano is getting a ton of swings and misses. His 41.51 whiff-per-swing percentage is 10th out of 314 pitchers in baseball (minimum 50 pitches). Thirteen have come on his slider. Nine have come on his fastball.
"The sliders are landing for strikes consistently and it's a pretty good slider," Kapler said. "And it's a fastball that plays pretty good here at this level."
Elias Sports Bureau said Rick Wise in 1971 is the last Phillies pitcher to retire 32 consecutive batters. Tampa Bay's Steve Geltz in June 2015 is the last pitcher in baseball to do it. Arano joins Scott Eyre as the only other Phillies pitcher since at least 1908 to open the season with seven consecutive perfect appearances. Eyre did it in 2009. If Arano has one more perfect appearance he would tie Scott Aldred for the Major League record. Aldred did it with Tampa Bay in 1999.
Hunter rehab continues
Phillies right-hander Tommy Hunter (right hamstring strain) pitched a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance Friday night with Double-A Reading. He struck out two. It is possible he could still make another rehab appearance before rejoining the team.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.