The Phillies’ 5-0 victory yesterday was likely a relief for Gabe Kapler, who has received a good amount of criticism in the season’s first week. There was no pitching change drama, no blundering and, of course, a win is always nice.
After the game, though, one of his young stars voiced some displeasure. It was Nick Williams, who did not play in the game and who is less-than-thrilled with his playing time thus far. From Todd Zolecki of MLB.com:
“I guess the computers are making [the lineup], I don’t know. I don’t get any of it, but what can I do? I’m not going to complain about it because I have zero power. I’m just letting it ride.”
Williams has started only two of the Phillies first six games and has only 11 plate appearances. He has struggled in his limited time and suggests to Zolecki that not playing regularly is partially responsible.
Williams played mostly in right field last year. So far this year Aaron Altherr has gotten more time there. He’s 1-for-18 in 22 plate appearances.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.