Creeping Slowly Towards Opening Day…
While we wait for Opening Day to arrive, the Phillies got in some more grapefruit league action today, just barely squeaking out a win against the Blue Jays.
Trailing 6-4 going into the 9th inning, they mounted a comeback, scoring 3 runs. The tension grew thicker in the bottom of the 9th when pitcher Gary Majewski loaded the bases, thanks in part to an error on Miguel Cairo. But Majewski managed to avoid disaster and pitched out of the jam.
Chan Ho Park started the game and went 4 innings with 4 hits given up, 3 earned runs and 1 walk; he also struck out 7. Not a great outing, but not bad either. Yesterday, JA Happ pitched 5 innings against the Yankees and only surrendered 1 earned run on 5 hits, but he also walked 3 batters. The two pitchers are still very close in the contest for the 5th starters spot, but after today, Happ may have a slight edge.
For the offense today, Chase Utley and Jayson Werth both went deep; Werth had 2 hits and one RBI on the homer and Utley racked up 3 RBI, including his 2-run blast. Pedro Feliz went 2 for 5, which is encouraging; he has been slow at the plate since rehabbing from his back surgery. Looks as if he and Utley are nearly at full speed.
Ryan Howard Tattoo Update
So a few weeks ago I reported that Howard got a new tattoo in early March; sorry this took a while, but my friend who was with Howard when he got the tattoo had her computer blow-up.
She is back on-line and yesterday morning, she sent me the following information: The tattoo is based on his nickname; it is a hooded Samurai warrior with swords and in the background, there is a large Japanese Dojo and a sunset. Also interesting to note, a day or so after he got the tattoo, he was nailed with a ball in the arm, right where the new and still healing tattoo is! The ball caused the tattoo to scar up, but apparently Ryan liked the effect and left it as is. So, there you have it; a scarred up Samurai.
Battle of the Backstops
It was said at the beginning of Spring that the back-up catcher’s job was Chris Coste’s to lose. So far, Ronny Paulino has done nothing to take the job away from Coste. Paulino is batting only .185 in 12 games played with 3 hits in 27 at-bats. Although Coste is off to a slow start after a hamstring injury, the Phillies know what Coste is capable of both at and behind the plate. So, unless a miracle occurs for Paulino, it is likely that Coste keeps the job.
As for the 22-year old catcher, Lou Marson, he has been sent to triple A. Marson was happy about the assignment for several reasons; last year, except for a brief September call-up, Marson spent the year in double A, so this represents a promotion for him. Also, as a back-up in the majors, Marson would not get a lot of playing time, thus limiting his opportunities to learn and develop as a player. Marson told beat-writer, Todd Zolecki, “I’m moving up a level; I know I got called up in September, but I was in Double-A the whole year. I’m moving up a level. That’s all I can ask for. There are a lot of guys that would like to be in my situation, playing every day. I can’t complain at all. I’m happy about it.” This kid is so darn cute, you just want to pinch his cheeks. :O) Great player, great attitude and he is really grounded for his age. Let’s hope the Phillies keep him around.
(All Photos by Jenn)
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