Spring Fever Results In An Offensive Vacation
After the Phillies day off on Thursday, it seems the Phillies offense is taking the rest of the week off. John Mayberry Jr. had the only hit for the Phils in a 2-0 loss to the Orioles on Friday. Then in a 3-0 loss today against the Tigers, they scratched out just 4 hits. But is any more appropriate time for a slump than Spring Training? Besides, we are all anxious for the real games to begin!
The pitching slumped a bit as well; Roy Halladay had a rough day against the Tigers. To start the second inning, he hit the first batter, walked the second batter and gave up a 2-run double to the third batter. A few more hits and another walk later and he had a 3-run inning. Then again, a bad day for Halladay is a spectacular day for most pitchers.
Kyle Kendrick started Friday’s game and gave up 2 runs over 5 innings bringing his spring ERA to 1.29. While Kendrick has clearly out pitched Jamie Moyer so far this year, it is still up in the air as to who will win the 5th starter’s roll. Moyer has way more experience and a much bigger paycheck, which may influence the decision.
But Kendrick should not have too much to worry about as it appears he will make the team either way. Lefty Sergio Escalona was sent back to the minors, indicating that Antonio Bastardo will get the one lefty spot in the pen. The remaining bullpen pieces are right-handers Danys Baez, Jose Contreras, Chad Durbin, David Herndon and Ryan Madson. That leaves the 7th spot for either Kendrick or Moyer. Mike Zagurski, another lefty, may also be in the mix but he has made only 1 appearance all Spring. The Phillies appear to be nursing Zagurski along after he missed all of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery.
Still recovering from off-season surgery, it looks like both Brad Lidge and JC Romero will start the season on the DL. However, they should not be too far behind schedule; both are throwing now to live batters and Lidge pitched in a minor league game on Thursday. Lidge says his command is off and he still needs to work on arm speed. But both players feel physically fine, which is great news.
Third baseman Placido Polanco is also feeling much better after a right calf sprain and was scheduled to play in a minor league game today. Chase Utley has recovered from his respiratory issues and played in both games after the off-day. If everyone else can stay healthy now, we should be looking at a nice start to the season.
And just for fun, I came across this Jayson Werth baseball card and thought I would share it with you. This is one of the shots taken during Photo Day in Spring Training from last year. Each player gets their “standard” shots for cards, programs, yearbooks and other team items on this day. The way it works is the photographer has them hold up their name / locker plate for the first photo so they know who they are shooting. They put the name plate down and then continue with the regular photos.
However, Werth decided to be silly and rather than put his name plate away, he stuck it through his belt loops. So my question is, did the photographer not notice this or did he just think it was funny and keep right on shooting? Either way, it is pretty interesting. Maybe that is why Werth let his hair and beard grow wild this spring? Could he have been trying to top last year’s bizarre photo session? We may never know…
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Photo by Jenn