Philadelphia Phillies' Rhys Hoskins makes spring debut five months after elbow surgery

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Five months after elbow surgery, Rhys Hoskins was back in the lineup taking big swings.

The Philadelphia Phillies slugger was 1-for-3 with an RBI single as a designated hitter in a 15-0 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday.

"I felt strong, felt normal," Hoskins said. "If you're asking me, there's no reason why I won't be ready for opening day, barring something really weird happening."

Hoskins didn't hesitate to dive back to first base on a pickoff attempt, landing on his surgically repaired left elbow.

"It was nice that I reacted like I normally would," he said. "I hadn't really done that yet. I was able to get up and say, 'There's another check mark.'"

Hoskins anticipates playing first base next week but still has plenty of time to be ready for the season opener on April 1. He's a major part of an offense that tied for fifth in the majors in runs scored last season.

Batting mostly out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Hoskins hit .245 with 10 homers, 26 RBIs and an .887 OPS before he tore the ligament in his elbow in September, missing the final 17 games.