Merrifield hits first spring homer, discusses Phils' clubhouse

February 26th, 2024

FT. MYERS, Fla. -- has been in Phillies camp only a week so there is only so much he knows about his new team.

But he likes what he sees.

“Just the energy in there,” Merrifield said during Monday’s 7-6 loss to Boston in a Grapefruit League game at JetBlue Park. “They’re in there for the right reasons. They’re in there to get better every day and work toward the end goal, and that’s to win the last game of the season.”

Merrifield hit a two-run home run down the left-field line in the third inning on Monday. It was his first of the spring, which means little to him because he said he couldn’t care less about results in the spring. Everything is about feeling good.

He feels good about his decision to sign a one-year, $8 million contract with the Phillies. He will not be an everyday player with the Phils, although he told Rob Thomson he hopes to push for more playing time by playing well. But Merrifield spent his first six-plus seasons with the Royals, who were in a perpetual rebuild.

“It’s just different energy, it’s good energy,” Merrifield said about the Phillies clubhouse. “I feel like it’s what more organizations need to be, and that’s coming into the year with the expectation of winning the World Series. And this organization is that and then some. It’s refreshing.”

Extra bases
• Darick Hall and Aramis Garcia also homered for the Phillies.

• Right-hander Connor Brogdon is fighting for a bullpen job. He is out of options. He allowed one run and walked three in two-thirds of an inning in his spring debut.

“He’s still building arm strength,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “He threw a couple good changeups, a couple good cutters, but we can’t walk people. You’ve got to get ahead, stay ahead and put people away. He knows that. He’ll get better.”

When asked if Brogdon might be feeling pressure to prove himself, Thomson said, “I hope not. He pitched in a World Series for us. I don’t think that’s a factor.”