This afternoon, the Phillies (11-14) head to Bradenton, Florida for a 1:05pm matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates (13-10). After seeing Severino Gonzalez and Aaron Nola put together a pair of impressive starts last week, today Phillies fans will get the opportunity to see another pitching prospect in the spotlight in Zach Eflin.
Eflin, 20, was acquired by the Phillies as a part of the trade that sent Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers. Last season, he was with the Advanced 'A' Padres affiliate in Lake Elsinore, CA. In 24 starts, the right-hander went 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA. Eflin could join the slew of pitching talent in Reading to start the season, but could also begin the year in Clearwater if the Phillies don't think he's ready for Double-A. Both Brian Bogusevic and Jeff Francoeur are in the lineup today as they battle for an outfield spot on the roster. With Domonic Brown on the mend and Darin Ruf still in the mix, it remains to be seen if both guys will end up on the roster. Bogusevic will get the nod in center today. He is a non-roster invite while Franceour signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies in the offseason.
The Pirates will counter with Adrian Sampson. He's thrown one shutout inning for them this spring. In 2014, Sampson spent most of the year in Double-A, going 10-5 with a 2.55 ERA in 24 starts. He was promoted to Triple-A later in the year and struggled, posting a 6.16 ERA in 19 innings.
Location: McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Florida