Fans inform Phillies of Harper news during spring game
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — The biggest play from the Phillies‘ spring training game Thursday: great communication behind the home dugout.
Philadelphia fans with an eye on their smartphones cried out when reports emerged that Bryce Harper had agreed to a deal with the Phillies, breaking the news to manager Gabe Kapler and his players during a 5-5 split-squad tie with the Orioles. Harper agreed to a $330 million, 13-year deal with the club, the largest contract in baseball history. Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, said the deal was agreed to shortly before noon, subject to a successful physical.
“If the reports are true, it’s a huge moment for our baseball team,” Kapler said. “Certainly I think that the city of Philadelphia would embrace Bryce Harper. I think he would be very happy in this city because our fans care deeply about winning.”
A 26-year-old All-Star who had spent his entire big league career with the Washington Nationals, Harper topped the $325 million, 13-year agreement outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reached before the 2015 season with the Miami Marlins.
Harper has a .279 career average with 184 homers and 521 RBIs, including a .268 average with 14 homers, 32 RBIs and a .930 OPS in 47 games at Citizens Bank Park. He likely would hit third or fourth, according to Kapler.
“We get a whole lot better on the field,” Kapler said. “Bryce Harper is a sensational teammate.”
Jean Segura had a hit and scored a run for Philadelphia, and Baltimore’s top prospect Yusniel Diaz had three hits with two doubles, driving in a run. Dylan Bundy made his first start for the Orioles, yielding one run on four hits in two innings. Mike Yastrzemski, the grandson of Boston Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, went hitless in two trips.
AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
RED SOX 13, NATIONALS 5
Blake Swihart had an RBI single a day after the death of his 23-year-old brother, Romell Jordan. Swihart was pulled following his hit in the fourth and was greeted by a big hug from manager Alex Cora in the dugout.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had three hits, driving in a run and scoring another for Boston. Brock Holt hit his first home run of the spring, a three-run shot, and Xander Bogaerts added an RBI double and a single.
Scott Kingery had a double and a single, stealing a base and scoring a run for the Phillies. Aaron Altherr walked three times and scored twice.
Jung Ho Kang had a hit, an RBI and scored twice, raising his average to .429 this spring with a 2.214 OPS in three games.
Michael Conforto got his first two hits of the spring and stole a base for New York. Top prospect Pete Alonso had two hits and two RBIs, and Jason Vargas allowed only Matt Carpenter’s leadoff home run, pitching two innings and striking out three in his first start.
Miles Mikolas made his second start for St. Louis, allowing five hits and a walk in three shutout innings.
ASTROS 7, MARLINS 5
Carlos Correa had an RBI double for Houston. Robinson Chirinos had a single and a run-scoring double. Jose Altuve went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts at designated hitter and is expected to play second base next in his third game following offseason knee surgery.
Mike Moustakas had a solo home run and Jesus Aguilar drilled a three-run double for Milwaukee. Brandon Woodruff made his first start, pitching one inning. He walked the bases loaded with one out but got out of the jam unscathed.
GIANTS 6, BREWERS (SS) 2
Chris Stratton made his second start for San Francisco, striking out three in three shutout innings. Drew Ferguson, in a battle with Austin Slater for the starting job in right field, notched his first hit of the spring with a two-run single. Slater tripled and scored.
Rule 5 draft pick Nick Green pitched three scoreless innings and got the win in a promising spring debut. Abraham Almonte had three hits and two RBIs, and Steven Souza Jr. added a run-scoring double. Merrill Kelly, trying to win a spot at the back of the rotation, retired just one batter and yielded three runs, three hits and a walk.
ROYALS 3, PADRES 2
Billy Hamilton had a single for his first hit with Kansas City. Jorge Lopez, slated as the Royals’ No. 4 starter, made his first start. He yielded a hit and a walk over two scoreless innings.
Top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. had his first spring double and walked for San Diego, and fellow youngster Luis Urias hit a two-run homer, his first long ball of the spring.
Franklin Barreto and Ramon Laureano hit solo home runs and Josh Phegley had three hits and an RBI for Oakland. Brett Anderson, vying for a rotation spot in his return to the Athletics, allowed two hits and a walk in his first start, pitching three shutout innings.
Ian Desmond hit a solo home run and Daniel Murphy had a single for his first hit with Colorado. David Dahl had a double and an RBI, and infield prospect Colton Welker hit his second homer of the spring. Chad Bettis made his second start, pitching three innings and allowing two runs and three hits.
Dee Gordon and Mitch Haniger each had a double for Seattle. Jay Bruce drove in his first run as a Mariner with a groundout. Dustin Ackley drove in two runs. Ackley, Seattle’s No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft, is trying to grab a roster spot after being traded away to the Yankees in 2015. Felix Hernandez made his second start, allowing two runs in three innings while striking out four.
Ronald Guzman hit two solo homers, giving him three homers this spring for Texas. Matt Davidson hit his second home run and Joey Gallo added an RBI double. Drew Smyly, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 with Tampa Bay and was on the disabled list for Seattle all last season, pitched a perfect inning in his spring debut.
Blake Snell made his spring debut and opened Tampa Bay’s two-hit victory with one strong inning, and Oliver Drake, Ryan Yarbrough and Colin Poche helped closed it out. Promising youngsters Austin Meadows and Lucius Fox each had two hits, and Fox had the only RBI.
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