By Sam Bush
New Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (above), outfielder Andrew McCutchen and shortstop Jean Segura all started in a 3-2 spring training loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Segura went 1 for 3 while McCutchen and Realmuto each went hitless in two at-bats.
Bryce Harper remains a focal point of discussion.
”I saw a helicopter circling around here the other day and we were joking like, ‘Hey, it would be funny if he just landed and got out,”’ McCutchen said. ”We all know what he’s capable of doing. He changes the team a lot for whatever team that he is on.”
Realmuto (.277, 21 homers, 74 RBIs), Segura (.304, 10, 63, 20 steals) and McCutchen (.255, 20, 65) should improve a lineup that finished last in the majors in batting average (.234), 22nd in runs (4.2 per game) and third in strikeouts (1,520).
The Phillies recently made a big trade to acquire the All-Star Realmuto from Miami. Segura was obtained in December while 2013 NL MVP McCutchen signed as a free agent.
Under first-year manager Gabe Kapler, the Phillies were a surprise contender for much of 2018 until falling apart the final two months. They led the NL East with the second-best record in the league one week into August before going 16-33 over the final 49 games to finish with a losing record for the sixth straight year.
”I just want to win a championship and I think this team is capable of that,” McCutchen said. ”A good first half last year and added some pieces to the puzzle to be an even better team.”