How about that new Manager Joe Girardi and his Phillies. They are off to a 4-1-1 start in six Grapefruit League games. Thanks in part to the play of guys who have never played a day in the major leagues, Joe Girardi is still undefeated as the Phillies manager. The only loss was in a split squad game managed by bench coach Rob Thomson
The spring record is a tribute to the Phillies minor league prospects who have led the way scoring late in the games as guys off the bench. Yesterday’s game against the Minnesota Twins was no exception. It was the “M” boys who led the way late for the 5-4 win.
That “M” might stand for minor leaguers but the guys have played like major leaguers. Yesterday, it was the likes of shortstop Arquimedes GaMboa, second baseman Nick Maton, right fielder Mickey Moniak and closer Adonis Medina who all came up big and late to erase a 4-2 deficit and hold on for another one-run win.
Clutch two-out RBI hits, a triple by Moniak and a single by Maton, in eight inning tied the game up at 4-4. Gamboa lined a home run in the top of the ninth to get the Phillies ahead 5-4. Median came on in the bottom half of the ninth for a one-two-three, save.
For me, Maton has been the really big story of the first week of Phillies spring training games. He has gone 3 for 7 with a home run and a double. His five RBIs in the four games he has played is third among all MLB players in spring training games. He has key hits in three of the games which have resulted in two wins and a tie.
Maton has been a standout coming up the Phillies chain. He was a SAL All-Star in 2018 and a FSL All-Star in 2019. He also was a MiLB Phillies Organization All-Star in 2018-19. He reminds me of Phillies great second baseman, Chase Utley.
The other players who have impressed me this spring are Gamboa and Moniak. Gamboa has never hit much. Last season in the FSL, he hit only .188 but his bat has been effective in the first week of the spring going 2 for 6 with three RBIs including the game winning homer, yesterday. Moniak has gone 2 for 7 with a double and triple so far.
Also it will be interesting to watch if Medina stays in the closers role. His save yesterday was his first ever since coming stateside back in 2015, after being used almost exclusively as a starter in his minor league career.