For the first time this season, the 20-18 Philadelphia Phillies will play an American League team. They face the 20-16 Toronto Blue Jays Friday night to kick off a new series.

Here’s what to watch and a friend returns to the team:

Haseley is back, update on Realmuto and Gregorius

Adam Haseley has returned a month after leaving the Phillies for personal reasons and will begin working his way back toward the majors.

Haseley, placed on the restricted list on April 14, will get back into game shape at the Phillies’ spring training facility and eventually in minor-league games. No reason has been given for his absence.

The 25-year-old Haseley entered the season in a timeshare in center field with Roman Quinn. Haseley went 4-for-21 in nine games before leaving the team. It took the Phillies until the last week and a half to have a centerfielder get hot at the plate. Over his last eight games, Odubel Herrera has gone 10-for-28 with two doubles, two homers, five RBI, and four walks.

Of more immediate concern to the Phillies: J.T. Realmuto met the team in Dunedin, Florida Friday and is in the lineup for the series opener against the Blue Jays. This is great news for the Phillies as Realmuto was placed on the COVID injured list Thursday and was initially believed to miss a few days. 

Didi Gregorius was not in the lineup. Gregorius is missing a second straight game with a sore right elbow. He exited Wednesday’s game with stiffness in the elbow, the one he had surgically repaired in 2018. Gregorius also missed three games in April after landing on that elbow making a catch in the outfield.

Velasquez starts

Phillies starter Vince Velasquez allowed just one run in 5 1/3 inning in Saturday’s loss to the Atlanta Braves. Though Velasquez has pitched well since he replaced Matt Moore in the rotation last month.

Velasquez has a 3.20 ERA in four starts.

Starting lineups

Phillies’ lineup tonight vs. Blue Jays’ starter Steven Matz:

Blue Jays’ starting lineup vs. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez:

Photo via Toronto Blue Jays’ Twitter

Essentials

  • When: 7:37 P.M. E.S.T.
  • Where: TD Ballpark
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia +
  • Radio: 94.1 WIP
  • Social media coverage: Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter & Instagram.