CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Bryce Harper expects the Phillies to be in the thick of a title chase in the National League East in 2021.
He once again thanked Dave Dombrowski’s offseason moves for that.
“The way that Dombrowski works, I don’t even know if he’s done yet,” Harper said Thursday afternoon. “I have no idea. I haven’t really talked to him about it. I guess we’ll wait and see what happens here in Spring Training.”
There have been reports that the Phillies have inquired about free-agent right-hander Jake Odorizzi, but a deal seems unlikely at the moment. The Phils are approaching the $210 million luxury-tax threshold, especially if pitchers like right-hander Brandon Kintzler and left-hander Tony Watson make the bullpen and have their contracts guaranteed.
Odorizzi, 31, went 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA in four starts last season, but he was 62-53 with a 3.88 ERA in 182 starts over the previous six years. He made the American League All-Star team with the Twins in 2019.
It seems more likely that the Phillies will move forward with the starters they have, see how everybody performs the first few months of the season and then make adjustments before the July 31 Trade Deadline, if needed.
Moniak in the mix?
Center field has been a hot topic this spring because of the competition for playing time among Scott Kingery, Roman Quinn, Adam Haseley and possibly even Odúbel Herrera. But what about Mickey Moniak? The first overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft made his big league debut last season. Moniak, 22, hit .214 (3-for-18) with four walks and six strikeouts in eight games.
“I wouldn’t say that he’s out of the mix,” manager Joe Girardi said. “There is no clear-cut center fielder. I think if you’re in camp, you’re in the mix. Even though his numbers weren’t great, his at-bats were not bad last year, for a kid. He’s a kid, right? He looks stronger now than he was before. He’s looked great in camp.”
Bye, Spectrum Field. Hello, BayCare Ballpark
The Phillies announced that BayCare Health System acquired the naming rights of the club’s Spring Training ballpark through at least 2026.
As part of a six-year agreement with a five-year renewal option, BayCare Ballpark will be the new name of the Phils’ spring home, which also hosts the Class A Clearwater Threshers. The Phillies opened the ballpark in 2004 as Bright House Networks Field. It changed to Bright House Field, then eventually Spectrum Field.
Phillies on TV
NBC Sports Philadelphia announced that it will broadcast 12 of the Phillies’ 14 games this spring at BayCare, beginning Monday afternoon with the home opener against the Orioles. The only home games not broadcast will be March 16 and 23, both against the Blue Jays.
Eight games will air on NBCSP+ and four on NBCSP. The network is not sending its broadcasters to Florida.
The Phillies have not announced how many games will be broadcast on the radio on 94 WIP.
• Harper is a trendsetter. He wore a “Clearwooder” T-shirt on the first day of camp. He said his wife found the shirt online.
• Didi Gregorius has solved his visa issues and he should be in Clearwater for his intake testing Friday. Christian Bethancourt had been expected to arrive on Thursday. Ranger Suárez and Francisco Morales’ intake tests are Saturday. Mauricio Llovera’s intake test is Sunday. The arrival dates of Neftalí Feliz and Simon Muzzioti remain unclear.
• Left-hander Kyle Dohy pulled a lat muscle before camp and he has not pitched this spring. He is rehabbing and could begin throwing in about a week.