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Arrieta to make Phils debut Thursday

Rangers claim Joseph; Solid at-bats pave way to Altherr's homer
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Folks looking for their first real look at Jake Arrieta in a Phillies uniform only need to wait a few more days.

Arrieta is scheduled to start Thursday afternoon's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. Arrieta signed a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phillies on March 12. He pitched in a simulated game Saturday at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Folks looking for their first real look at Jake Arrieta in a Phillies uniform only need to wait a few more days.

Arrieta is scheduled to start Thursday afternoon's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. Arrieta signed a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phillies on March 12. He pitched in a simulated game Saturday at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater.

View Full Game Coverage

He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday.

"It's a pretty natural progression coming off of what he's coming off of," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said following Monday's 6-5 loss to the Red Sox in a Grapefruit League game at JetBlue Park. "A good solid up-down, a live-BP sim game, into game action."

The chance remains that Arrieta could be ready to pitch the first week of the season, although that is not a certainty.

Video: Sullivan discusses the Rangers claiming Joseph

Rangers claim Joseph

Tommy Joseph's Phillies career is finished.

Texas on Monday claimed Joseph off waivers. He had been designated for assignment last week when the Phillies signed Arrieta. But Joseph's spot on the 40-man roster became tenuous in December when the Phillies signed first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million contract. Joseph suddenly became a man without a position, with Santana and Rhys Hoskins ahead of him on the depth chart at first base.

Joseph hit .247 with 43 home runs, 116 RBIs and a .757 OPS in two seasons with the Phillies. He unseated Ryan Howard as the Phillies' everyday first baseman in 2016, but lost the job late last season to Hoskins.

The Phillies acquired Joseph in the Hunter Pence trade with the Giants in July 2012. Joseph had been a highly regarded catching prospect until multiple concussions forced him to move positions. In his limited time with the Phillies, he emerged as a leader in the clubhouse.

Video: PHI@BOS: Altherr mashes a three-run homer to left

Setting up Altherr's homer

Aaron Altherr crushed a three-run home run against Red Sox ace Chris Sale in the fifth inning of Monday's 6-5 loss that cleared the replica Green Monster in left field.

Kapler praised the previous three plate appearances by Cesar Hernandez, Santana and Hoskins for setting it up. Hernandez struck out swinging following a lengthy at-bat. Santana and Hoskins then each worked walks.

"When you have a guy like Sale, making him work is critically important," Kapler said. "Altherr hitting the home run doesn't happen in a vacuum. It happens as a result of team baseball. Nobody is going to ever remember Cesar's punchout, but it was a huge at-bat. We had everybody in the dugout going, 'Great at-bat, great at-bat.'"

Quinn improves at short

Roman Quinn is competing for a bench job. If he makes the team, it might be because he has shown some proficiency at shortstop.

"A lot of improvement from Quinny at shortstop," Kapler said. "Still some work to be done, no doubt. But what we've seen has been like a gradual comfort-level increase. We've seen the athletic capability to play the position, without a doubt."

Up next: Phillies right-hander Ben Lively (0-1, 3.86 ERA) starts Tuesday afternoon's Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV and MLB Network. Lively is competing for a spot in the rotation with Jerad Eickhoff sidelined six to eight weeks with an injured lat.

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.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jake Arrieta