Phillies Notes: Hyatt looks sharp in Phillies exhibition win

Austin Hyatt hurled two scoreless innings in the Phils' exhibition game vs. Florida St. University.
Austin Hyatt hurled two scoreless innings in the Phils' exhibition game vs. Florida St. University. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 01, 2012

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Austin Hyatt, 25 and unassuming, has a modest goal for 2012: He wants to pitch at triple-A Lehigh Valley.

"That would be the next step along the progression, I guess," Hyatt said, "so hopefully I end up there."

On Wednesday, he was bestowed the honor of starting the Phillies' first exhibition game of the spring. In a 6-1 victory over Florida State University, Hyatt tossed two scoreless innings and struck out three. It was his first time pitching in front of Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee, and for a pitcher who won't have many chances this spring to make an impression, he was pleased.

"That's the main thing," Hyatt said. "It is exciting pitching in front of those guys because you want to go out there and do your best."

"He threw fine," Dubee said.

Hyatt is significant mostly because he could be the lone homegrown starting pitcher at triple A in 2012. The rest of the rotation could be filled with veterans like Joel Pineiro, Dave Bush, Nate Bump, and Pat Misch.

Hyatt, a 23d-round pick in 2004, made 28 starts for double-A Reading in 2011 and posted a 3.85 ERA with a solid 3.49 strikeout-to-walk ratio. A season before that, he was named the Florida State League pitcher of the year.

He doesn't have overpowering stuff; normally his fastball tops out at 92 or 93 m.p.h. Hyatt said that developing a better slider in addition to his fastball and changeup is a priority.

His next assignment is a step up from college kids. He'll face the New York Yankees in Monday's game. For now, he'll enjoy the feeling of big-league spring training.

"It's a great honor," Hyatt said. "It's fun and exciting to be in this clubhouse."

Bashing big truck

During early-morning batting practice on a back field at the Carpenter Complex, Domonic Brown launched a deep fly. It was headed toward a players parking lot, and everyone knew it. The loud thud was heard from home plate. So was the car alarm.

Brown had struck Jose Contreras' big truck with a home-run ball.

"You park your truck over there," Manuel said, "you have a pretty good chance of getting hit."

Baseball karma caught Brown later when he was hit by a pitch in his first spring plate appearance. He was plunked near the right wrist, but no damage was done. Of course, Brown's spring ended last year when he fractured a bone in his right hand.

"I wasn't thinking about it," Brown said. "I knew it wasn't serious."

Pitching schedule

Cole Hamels will start the Grapefruit League opener against the New York Yankees on Saturday at Bright House Field. Roy Halladay will pitch Sunday, also against the Yankees, in Tampa, Fla.

They will be followed by Joe Blanton (Monday vs. Yankees), Cliff Lee (Tuesday at Blue Jays), and Vance Worley (Wednesday vs. Astros).

The only pitchers not scheduled for work in the first week of games are Contreras (elbow) and Justin De Fratus (elbow). Contreras is scheduled to throw a batting practice session Thursday.

Extra bases

In addition to Hyatt, six other Phillies pitchers - Jake Diekman, Jeremy Horst, Michael Schwimer, Joe Savery, Phillipe Aumont, and B.J. Rosenberg - tossed scoreless innings Wednesday. The lone run was surrendered by J.C. Ramirez, who actually earned the win. . . . Florida State senior righthander Adam Simmons struck out future Hall of Famer Jim Thome in his first at-bat of the spring. . . . The Phillies were held scoreless until the sixth, when Scott Podsednik reached on an infield single with the bases loaded.


Contact staff writer Matt Gelb

at mgelb@phillynews.com or @magelb on Twitter.

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