Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Phillies blast Seminoles in win

Jim Thome bats against FSU's Mack Waugh in the 7th inning. (Photo via @RyanLawrence21)

The Phillies were back in action today, hosting the Florida State Seminoles at Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL this afternoon.

The pitching was exceptional and the hitting wasn’t, which is always expected in the first real nine innings of baseball played, regardless the talent on the other side.

Florida State’s pitching finally gave way to some runs and the Phillies won their first game of Spring ball, 6-1, over the Seminoles. It was a five-run 7th inning that did the Seminoles in.

Hector Luna, who replaced Ty Wigginton at third base in the 3rd inning, had himself a nice game, hitting a two-run homer in the 7th. He also walked in his other at-bat of the game.

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Spring Training News – Leap Edition

Spring training is being kicked off with a bang, or in Domonic Brown’s case, a smash and the sound of a car alarm. Looks like he’ll be buying the Big Truck dinner tonight.

Anyway, some news came out of clearwater today. Ryan Howard had a set-back the other day when the stitches on his Achilles injury ripped open.

“I don’t prefer to use (set-back),” said Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan. “I know that’s what everybody wants to use. We had never established a particular time frame for him, and right now it’s one of those things that happens in the rehab process. We just have to move forward from it.”

But the good news is that the tendon itself is intact and Howard will only inactive a few more days with an infection. Read Sheridan’s comments on Todd Zolecki’s blog.

As you know, today marks the first game of Spring Training as the Phillies take on Florida State at 1:05 PM. Austin Hyatt will get the start for the Phillies.

That being said, the rest of the pitching schedule has been set. Read more of this post

And the first line up for 2012 is…

Todd Zolecki: Tomorrow’s lineup vs. FSU: Rollins SS, Pierre DH, Victorino CF, Pence RF, Wigginton 3B, Brown LF, Mayberry 1B, Martinez 2B, Gosewisch C.

Every Spring Training starts out with a game between a college baseball team. Philadelphia’s is usually played against Florida State University and this year it’s no different.

That being said, it’s always interesting to see what the first line up is going to look like.

There are a few things take from that line.

First, Juan Pierre is playing in a DH role. When he was signed to a minor league deal, it was assumed that he would be used in pinch-hitting and fielding situations as well as get a few starts in center field.

He’s most likely hitting DH tomorrow to give Domonic Brown innings in left field.

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MIA’s Dobbs: “I want us to be the team to beat”; Hyatt to start vs FSU

DOBBS COMMENTS — Ex-Phillie and current Marlin bench player Greg Dobbs is confident in the new Miami Marlins team this season. In fact, he’s so confident that he now has lofty expectations for his team while taking a page out of the 2007 chapter in Jimmy Rollins’ book.

“A lot of things can happen over the course of 162 games,” Dobbs said. “I want us to be the team to beat and there isn’t any reason we cant be that team with the talent, the character and the personality of this clubhouse.”

It appears Dobbs has forgotten the fact the Phils won 102 games last season, bolstered their bench and still has by far the best rotation within the division.

The Marlins will be battling with the Nationals for third place. Neither teams is in the same class as the Atlanta Braves and none of them are in the same class as the Phillies.

HYATT TO START — Baseball-like activities are upon us. And soon, so will the nine innings of baseball fans have anxiously been waiting for since last October.

To start things off, the Phils will play Florida State University in an exhibition game on Wednesday. Austin Hyatt will lead a cast of young arms to pitch in that game.

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Phillies Mailbag: 2012 Preseason Edition

Realistically, how much longer is the window open with this current core? – @Realdeal411

This is assuming the Phillies were going to continue basing the heart of their order around Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Hunter Pence as well as Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz and a rotation with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee?

If that were the case, next year at the longest. They are now in the echelon of franchises that make improvements via trade and free agency (Boston and New York to be specific) and they are going to have to do just that.

They have already started that method by acquiring Halladay, Lee, Pence, Roy Oswalt and Jonathon Papelbon since winning their last World Series. But as we have seen already, the current infield has very few years left of being key crucial parts in their line up and who knows how much longer Doc and Lee have at the top of the mountain before the Phils need a new staff ace.

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Lee has soreness in abdomen; downplays it

Photo via CSN Philly

The first week of Spring Training is always the hardest. Players are trying to get themselves back into the swing of things.

That frustrating process can include minor injuries.

Cliff Lee was one of the first to experience that, straining his abdomen today down in Clearwater. But the left-handed ace assured everyone that it isn’t a big deal.

The 33-year-old southpaw skipped his bull pen session today with soreness but he said he isn’t worried.

“Better safe than sorry, especially this early,” Lee said. “It’s really it. I didn’t really think I was going to have to talk about it.”

Lee has had abdominal strains before, including most recently last season when he missed a few starts with the Seattle Mariners.

“In the past I’ve had ab strains and it was a little sore,” Lee said, “so I decided to skip my bullpen, which is a minor deal and just basically play it safe at this point.”

Lee is set to pitch his next bull pen session on Sunday.

Oswalt to remain FA until midseason

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Roy Oswalt will not be starting the season with a team, and this in turn may be a really good thing.

Just like Roger Clemens did in 2006 and 2007, Oswalt will start the season unsigned and offer up his services to a Major League club at the midseason point, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Oswalt is 159-93 with three All-Star appearances in 11 seasons with the Houston Astros and Phillies.

What does this mean for Oswalt? Is he a candidate to come back to the Phillies and boost their rotation in the second half of the season?

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The Curious Case of Kyle Kendrick

Phillies pitchers Kyle Kendrick (left) and Cliff Lee (right) during Spring Training. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Lets talk starting pitching. Everyone loves it, everyone needs it.

For the Phillies, they have an overabundance of it. From established veterans like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels to and up and coming star in Vance Worley.

That fills the first four spots in the rotation, and assuming Roy Oswalt isn’t coming back, who gets the fifth starter’s spot? It’s always seemed to be the biggest question since the dawn of time itself for the Phillies.

With the fifth starter’s spot still up in the air, three names come to mind when looking to fill that void. They are Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton and Joel Pineiro.

Though there are three names competing for that spot, only one should be picked. Let’s make a case for Kendrick.

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Phillies are STILL the team to beat

(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Here we are, back to days that aren’t so cold, as the winter’s chill is kinder to us. The feeling of baseball is BACK, and with the crisp night air we are reminded of October baseball.

We are beginning to get excited about opening day, cheesesteaks, cold beers, and our fellow Phillies faithful selling out the Bank. There’s nothing like it.

Phillies spring training down in Clearwater Florida is upon is. All of a sudden, everything from the previous season becomes irrelevant and the slate is wiped clean. Every crack of the bat in spring training will be the sound of new opportunity.

I love the feeling of knowing that any season could be the one the Phillies win it all. This season is no different. With a first round bounce in the fall of 2011, I am hungrier than ever as I’m sure the players are.

After losing to the Cardinals in five games in the NLDS, the concerns about the team still hang in the back of my mind. Will the Phillies lineup learn to hit in clutch moments? Will key guys like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Placido Polanco be able to stay healthy while remaining productive?

There are also reasons to be excited.

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Brown: “I’m coming to win a job”

(Yong Kim/Philly Inquirer)

The wait is finally over. Domonic Brown has his confidence and this could be the year he shows the fans what he can really do.

The 24-year-old Phillies prospect did all the right things. He found a way to finally settle down, he sought help with his mechanics and he took a step back so he could evaluate the high expectations everyone has for him.

Brown said he sought help from one of the greatest hitters in the past quarter century, Gary Sheffield. But what Brown also said when talking to reporters will reassure his coaches, the fans and most importantly himself.

“I’m not at peace if I start at triple A,” Brown said Tuesday morning. “I’m coming to win a job. I’m fighting to win a job here. If I start at triple A, I start at triple A.”

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