PHILADELPHIA -- Robin Ventura is pleased with Josh Phegley’s early success and he’s even happier the catcher made some quick adjustments.
The White Sox manager also likes how his rookie backstop handled a 3-2 changeup from Anibal Sanchez on Thursday afternoon and planted it in the seats for a grand slam that led the White Sox to a series victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The home run was the third of Phegley’s brief major league career. Phegley is the first White Sox player since Magglio Ordonez in 1997 to homer three times in his first five games.
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“To be on it and not try to get too much, it was a good swing,” Ventura said. “If he was trying to hit a homer on a fastball, he wouldn’t have hit it. It was a good approach, and I like the adjustments he makes...I can see what they’re trying to do and it was working a little bit and all of a sudden he makes an adjustment and he hits a homer. You like it when you see a guy make in-game adjustments like that.”
Phegley’s homers have come against some pretty good pitchers.
He hit the first home run of his career on Sunday against Tampa Bay’s David Price and took Cubs starter Matt Garza deep on Monday.
He jokes his first week would be better if he had a grand slam in each at-bat but said he’s glad to have had some early success. As for how he has managed to be successful against good competition, Phegley has tried to avoid being star struck.
“The one thing I try to keep in mind is everyone up here has played in the minor leagues at some point,” Phegley said. “Some of those guys I have seen down there are going to be your next David Prices and guys that throw like that. They’re smarter, they’ve got more reps, more experience and their plan is going to be a lot better. One point of emphasis for me is to kind of have my plan and stick to it and do my homework on my end and keeping using the same approach.”
As to his approach for the All-Star break, Phegley and his wife may head back home to Terra Haute, Ind., for one day but they plan to spend the other three days in Chicago, getting acquainted with the city.
“We’ve only been there one day since the call-up,” Phegley said. “Just kind of work on getting our bearings in the city and maybe check out some sites.”