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Double rake: Williams almost dents car again

Homer from Phils slugger nearly hits Kapler's rental for second consecutive day
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Maybe Phillies manager Gabe Kapler should move his car.

Phillies outfielder Nick Williams nearly hit Kapler's rental car with a home run for the second consecutive day Wednesday at Carpenter Complex. Williams dented the roof of Kapler's car on Tuesday, hitting a home run over the right-field fence at Mike Schmidt Field.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Maybe Phillies manager Gabe Kapler should move his car.

Phillies outfielder Nick Williams nearly hit Kapler's rental car with a home run for the second consecutive day Wednesday at Carpenter Complex. Williams dented the roof of Kapler's car on Tuesday, hitting a home run over the right-field fence at Mike Schmidt Field.

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"If he is destroying cars and it happens to be mine, no problem," Kapler said.

But why not park his vehicle elsewhere?

"No, no," Kapler said, smiling. "We're going to make it a bullseye for him. We'll have a running joke, and it's a great way to build relationships. That's part of the whole scientific plan to make this work."

Kapler said he and his coaching staff have been impressed with the way Williams has looked and performed in camp. Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr and Williams figure to be part of the regular outfield rotation, with Hoskins and possibly Herrera regular presences in the lineup.

"[Williams] is really shining," Kapler said. "He just walks around with a perpetual smile. But clearly our hitting coaches are enthused about the bat path, the way he lofts the ball to the middle of the field. Some hitters, when they hit their best ball, it's on the ground. And Nick, when he makes his most solid contact, he has a nice loft to his swing. And in the middle of the field, there are not many guys that can drive the ball like he can."

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Kapler stressed that he is not worried about finding enough plate appearances for Hoskins, Herrera, Altherr and Williams. Hoskins can play first base whenever Carlos Santana is not there. There are pinch-hitting and double-switch opportunities. There are designated hitter opportunities in Interleague Play.

Kapler said everybody will be satisfied.

"Not concerned," Kapler said. "They're all going to get a ton of reps. They all very well may be in the lineup on more days than not."

Bring on Tampa

The Phillies host the University of Tampa baseball team in an exhibition game Thursday afternoon at Spectrum Field. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff will pitch the first inning.

Philadelphia has a two-game winning streak against Tampa. It lost to the Division II college team in 2015.

The Phillies have not said who will start Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.

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, Nick Williams