CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph called himself lucky Tuesday, which is something he has been unable to say very often in the past.He suffered only a bruised left hand after being hit with a pitch in the first inning of a 9-0 victory over the Braves in
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph called himself lucky Tuesday, which is something he has been unable to say very often in the past.
He suffered only a bruised left hand after being hit with a pitch in the first inning of a 9-0 victory over the Braves in a Grapefruit League tilt at Spectrum Field, forcing him to leave the game in the third. Joseph said he is uncertain how many games he might miss, but he has time to heal with Opening Day a little less than three weeks away.
The pitch hit the outside of Joseph's hand. X-rays were negative.
"Obviously if it would've hit higher it probably would've gotten more bone," he said. "But I have a little muscle and fat there." Joseph has suffered multiple concussions and had left wrist surgery over the past few years so perhaps he deserved a bit of luck.
"I went through tests with [assistant athletic trainer Shawn Fcasni] in the tunnel and it was fine," Joseph said. "And then when I grabbed a bat, it didn't feel too comfortable. So at that point it was a pretty easy decision to come out, come in here, start treating it and try to get this thing taken care of."
Brock Stassi took Joseph's place at first base and continued his torrid spring. He tripled and homered.
Stassi is hitting .419 (13-for-31) with one double, one triple, five home runs and 15 RBIs this spring. He has a chance to make the team as a bench player, although he is not on the 40-man roster, which will come into play in the decision.
"I think everybody likes him," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You have to like him. Not only has he had a good spring offensively, but the at-bats he gives us are quality at-bats vs. righties and lefties. But he's just a well-above-average defender. He's fun to watch play."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.