Phillies Launch by Matt Szczur, RP Drew Storen

Joe Girardi shared some of his priorities for this strange season ahead while on MLB Network this week.

“You think about this a lot more than ever before,” said the Phillies’ freshman.

No one expects beginner pitchers to dig deep into the games in their early beginnings because they won’t have the same accumulated resistance from a period of normal acceleration. Nor will many hitters have the time with which they would emerge from a full spring training.

Girardi cautioned that relievers must also be handled delicately.

“You can’t start running your relievers out there several days in a row just because it’s not a marathon, it’s a sprint,” he said. “You think of position players, how many games are they actually going to play before entering the regular season compared to normal spring training?

“There is a very fine line as coaches that we walk to make sure that the players are not overused. Because think about it, if they hurt someone or get on the (disabled list) for 2-3 weeks, that could cost them your season. ” “

To keep players fresher during this 60-game sprint in 66 days, Girardi plans to use Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, and Andrew McCutchen as the designated hitter at times. Jay Bruce thinks he is the Phillies’ top DH, but Girardi also wants to get those four key players off his feet when he can.

Earlier this week, Rockies superstar Charlie Blackmon tested positive for coronavirus. It is almost inevitable that a key player or key players will test positive during this 60 game season and teams will have to contend with that adversity. No matter how well a team is doing, its momentum could be derailed at any time in the coming months. Teams with the deepest rosters should have an even greater advantage than in a typical season.

“We will manage differently, but you had better be smart about it,” Girardi said. “If we all put our heads together and make sure we are all responsible when we are off the field, I think we can do this.”

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