CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler tuned up for his Grapefruit League debut Friday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin with a 6-0 victory Thursday over the University of Tampa at Spectrum Field.Afterward, Kapler raved about Phillies prospect Seranthony Dominguez, who allowed a single to start the sixth inning
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Gabe Kapler tuned up for his Grapefruit League debut Friday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin with a 6-0 victory Thursday over the University of Tampa at Spectrum Field.
Afterward, Kapler raved about Phillies prospect Seranthony Dominguez, who allowed a single to start the sixth inning before striking out the next three batters swinging -- two on sliders and one on a fastball that touched 96 mph.
"Just kind of electric stuff, kind of the bravado of a seasoned veteran," Kapler said of the 23-year-old, who's ranked No. 30 in the Phillies' Top Prospects list, according to MLB Pipeline. "That was awesome."
Dominguez could open the season in Double-A Reading. His future could be in the bullpen, accelerating his timetable to reach the big leagues.
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"What I really want is to show that I'm capable of fulfilling the needs they're looking for," Dominguez said through the team's interpreter.
Nick Pivetta will start Friday against the Blue Jays. Mark Leiter also is scheduled to pitch.
Knapp leads off
Everybody knows that Spring Training lineups mean nothing about the future, but it was interesting to see Andrew Knapp bat first Thursday. Interesting only because no catcher in Phillies history has hit leadoff in the regular season, according to Baseball Reference.
Knapp worked a walk in the first inning.
Eickhoff ready to roll
Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff faced seven batters in two hitless, scoreless innings, throwing seven first-pitch strikes. He missed the final month of last season because of nerve irritation in his right hand, but he said he is healthy.
"I think every year I have something to prove," Eickhoff said. "Just to get on the mound again and feel those butterflies again and being able to compete, that's what you miss the most. I feel great."
Got to be flexible
Infielder Jesmuel Valentin played right field as the Phillies search for versatility on a projected four-man bench.
Valentin has played second base and shortstop in his Minor League career, although he played 15 games in the outfield in winter ball. But Valentin must show he can play multiple positions competently to make the team. He almost made the Opening Day roster last season, but lost one of the final two bench jobs to Brock Stassi and Daniel Nava.
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"Ideally, we have a 40-man guy who's got a lot of flexibility," Kapler said.
Second baseman Scott Kingery could see time in center field and elsewhere this spring, too.
Support for Stoneman Douglas High
The Phillies will wear the caps of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball team before Friday's game.
New Era produced more than 2,500 caps for every team and every umpire in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Teams could have the caps signed and auctioned to benefit funds related to assisting victims and families of the horrific shooting that left 17 dead at Stoneman Douglas on Feb. 14. Many teams will donate proceeds to the Broward Education Foundation, which established the official Stoneman Douglas Victims Fund.
More information can be found at browardedfoundation.org.
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.