Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’
February and March are ideal months to visit Clearwater, Florida. It is not too hot, not too cold and even better, the Phillies are there for spring training.
The list to follow is an excellent guide to both Phillies spring training and the Clearwater area in general. Whether or not you have ever been to Clearwater before, you should find this information very useful or at the very least, entertaining.
However, be forewarned. Spring training in Clearwater can be addictive and may turn into a lifelong habit. There is currently no support group for spring training addicts so, managing this addiction will be up to you. Just remember to bring friends to share the fun.
Everybody loves free and Phillies practices in Clearwater are just that. Once the whole team has reported and before games begin, daily practices are held at the Carpenter Complex next door to Bright House Field. Practice usually starts around 9:00am and runs until about 1:00pm, weather permitting.
There are four outdoor baseball fields at the Carpenter Complex arranged in a box pattern and the bleachers in between are for fans to sit and watch. Usually, all fields are in use at once and players may hop between fields to work on different skills or with different staff and players.
You will be able to wander around to see what is going on at all four fields. Some activities you can watch include pop fly drills, pitching practice, run-down drills, fielding practice and of course, batting. The sliding drills are especially fun to see as the players put on special “sliding pants” to reduce resistance and risk of injury.
There are public facilities on the grounds as well which include bathrooms and food vendors. The staff even sell some souvenirs. Parking is free as well so stay as long as you like.
Also keep in mind that practices can be a good time to get autographs from players.
Attend Games At Bright House Field
Unlike practices, games at Bright House Field are not free. But they are fairly cheap. Prices run from $13 to $34 per ticket.
In previous years, getting a ticket to a spring training game was relatively easy and could be done at the last minute. However, since the Phillies won the World Championship in 2008, spring training games are now much hotter items. Plan ahead and order tickets early.
Keep in mind when getting tickets that the home side at this ballpark is the third base side. So if it matters to you, you will know which side you prefer to sit on before buying.
Other games, called “B” games, mean the Phillies will be split into groups for the day. Some play in the regular game and others play the “B” game instead. Many of the “B” game players are those needing extra batting practice or players recovering from an injury and on some sort of physical restriction.
If you see a “B” game listed on a schedule, those are sometimes played before regular scheduled games at Bright House Field and are usually included with your ticket for that day. Other “B” games are played at the Carpenter Complex and are usually free and open to the public.
Visit Other Grapefruit League Ballparks
There are some really nice and interesting ballparks in Florida. When the Phillies have an away game, try going to see them at another park. Tickets are available through the home team’s web site or in person at their box office.
Here are the other Florida ballparks with the approximate driving distances from Clearwater:
- 5 miles, Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin, FL
- 22 miles, New York Yankees, Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, FL
- 42 miles, Pittsburgh Pirates, McKechnie Field, Bradenton, FL
- 54 miles, Baltimore Orioles, Ed Smith Stadium , Sarasota, FL
- 59 miles, Detroit Tigers, Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, FL
- 94 miles, Atlanta Braves, Champion Stadium, Lake Buena Vista, FL
- 97 miles, Tampa Bay Rays, Charlotte County Sports Park, Port Charlotte, FL
- 98 miles, Houston Astros, Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee, FL
- 128 miles, Boston Red Sox, City of Palms Park, Ft. Myers, FL
- 128 miles, Minnesota Twins, Hammond Stadium, Ft. Myers, FL
- 152 miles, Washington Nationals, Space Coast Stadium, Viera, FL
- 178 miles, New York Mets, Digital Domain Park, Port St. Lucie, FL
- 208 miles, St. Louis Cardinals, Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, FL
- 208 miles, Florida Marlins, Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, FL
Of the closest ballparks, the Blue Jays in Dunedin is the easiest to get to. The Yankees in Tampa would be second. Steinbrenner Field is one of the nicer stadiums and has nice scenery with fountains, trees and a view of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium across the street.
The Pirates’ McKechnie Field in Bradenton is one of the oldest parks in the area, built in 1923. Although it was renovated in the early 90′s, the park still boasts the original 1920′s Spanish-mission style architecture including the masonry, stucco and structural steel materials. The seats are super tiny and very close together for a “get to know your neighbor” feel.
There are also several stadiums in the Orlando-Disney area including the Atlanta Braves’ Champion Stadium and the Houston Astros, Osceola County Stadium. You could make this a combination trip if you would like to visit any Orlando-area attractions.
Some stadiums are very far away and should be considered only for overnight trips or by extremely adventurous fans.
Spring training is a great time to get autographs from players. The atmosphere is very relaxed and most players are in a good mood. Depending on your level of dedication to this task, autographs can be obtained at practices, before and after games and even around town if you happen to bump into a player in public.
My next article will include a detailed list of the best ways and locations to get player autographs. Check back for that soon.
Have a Drink At Frenchy’s Tiki Pavilion
Inside Bright House Field at the corner of left field is Frenchy’s Tiki Pavilion. This full-service bar is open for every home game and is a great place to mingle with other fans, watch the game and have a cocktail.
You can even buy a game ticket in the “Tiki Terrace” section to guarantee a spot close to the bar. The stools which are directly at the bar are first come, first serve.
The bar service continues to run after the game as well. Some Phillies players have been known to stop by there to chat with fans or have a drink. Brett Myers, now with the Astros, was commonly found at the Tiki bar after games in years past. I also saw Ryan Howard pass by there after a game one time.
Shop At The Diamond Outfitter’s Clubhouse Store
The souvenir store at Bright House Field is called Diamond Outfitters and is located next to the ballpark’s west entry. You can enter the store both from inside and outside the ballpark, depending on game schedules.
Diamond Outfitters is a great place to shop for Phillies gear. They carry almost anything you can imagine such as tee-shirts, hats, raincoats, umbrellas, pens, trinkets, pins, souvenir bats and balls and more.
And if you ever wanted a Phillies hat with a palm tree on it, this is the place. The store is open on non-game days as well which is the perfect time to avoid large crowds as well.
Go To The Legends Game
This year, Bright House Field will host the Legends Game on March 13, 2011 at 5:30pm to benefit the Children’s Cancer Center. The event is presented by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and will be attended by both former MLB players and national celebrities.
Some of the guests scheduled to appear this year are Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, Bob Boone, Darren Daulton, Von Hayes, Mickey Morandini, Steve Bedrosian, Jeff Kent, comedian Larry “The Cable Guy,” and meteorologist Dave Osterberg.
You can order tickets online through the Phillies web site.
Hang At The Beach
Unfortunately, at some point during your trip to Florida, there will come a time when there are no baseball-related activities going on. Take advantage of this opportunity and see what else Florida has to offer.
At Clearwater Beach, there is a nightly festival at Pier 60. The four-hour festival runs from two hours before to two hours after sundown. Jugglers, magicians, and a variety of entertainers perform for the crowd that gathers each evening. There are also local vendors selling jewelry, art work and souvenirs at very good prices.
And of course, there is the beach itself. Take a swim or simply relax on the white, powdery sand and soak up the warm sun rays.
See The Sights
The Clearwater are has much more to offer than just a beach. There are boat tours, dolphin watching, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, spas, an art center and lots of great places to shop.
Just outside of Clearwater, take a drive to Tampa. You can visit Busch Gardens or take in the nightlife at Ybor City.
About 15 miles north of Clearwater, check out Tarpon Springs and the Sponge Docks for shopping, eco-tours, authentic Greek cuisine. You can also take Greek Cultural Classes and Workshops to learn about the areas fascinating history and customs.
For a longer road trip, head north east to Orlando. The two-hour drive is worth it if you are interested in Disney attractions, Sea World, Universal Studios and other fun family adventures.
Florida is a state rich in history. There are a wide range of options here to broaden your horizons.
Florida Holocaust Memorial Museum and Educational Center in St. Petersburg is the third largest of its kind in America. Check out the photography and documentary exhibits collected from all over the world.
If your childhood dream was to be an astronaut, you will not want to miss the Kennedy Space Center located 45 miles east of Orlando. It is a long drive, but if you have the time, the history here is amazing.
Closer to Clearwater, you can visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, the Dunedin Historical Museum or Heritage Village in Largo which is an open-air living history museum featuring 23 turn-of-the-century structures.
Now, pack your bags, grab some friends and prepare to have an amazing time in Florida!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
In honor of spring training and Valentine’s Day, I composed a short poem:
Pinstripes are red,
BP jersey’s are blue,
The Phillies are in camp,
Time to bid winter adieu!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Spring Training!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
In mid-November, the Phillies invited 12 players to Spring Training as non-roster invitees. Today they announced seven more NRI’s will join the group for a total of 19.
The previous 12 announced are as follows:
Josh Barfield, INF
Eddie Bonine, RHP
Tagg Bozied, INF/OF
Ryan Feierabend, LHP
Erik Kratz, C
Jeff Larish, INF
Dan Meyer, LHP
Matt Miller, OF
Brandon Moss, OF
Pete Orr, INF
Juan Perez, LHP
Dane Sardinha, C
The additional seven will be:
Brian Bass, RHP
Tuffy Gosewisch, C
Joel Naughton, C
Robb Quinlan, INF
Michael Schwimer, RHP
Michael Stutes, RHP
Delwyn Young, INF/OF
Of these seven, Bass, Young and Quinlan had some time in the majors in 2010. None of the three had much success, although Young finished third in the majors with 16 pinch hits.
As for the minor leaguers, Gosewisch is invited every year to help with catching duties and then sent back to the minors. The other three have much in common. Naughton, Schwimer and Stutes, are all 24-years old and they all have great potential.
Naughton hit .308 with five homers and 31 RBI in 51 games for single-A Clearwater in 2010. He is good with runners in scoring position, hitting .426 in that situation. But he is also injury-prone, having been on the DL twice in 2010.
Schwimer pitched for both between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2010. His combined ERA was 2.85 in 48 games and of those, 36 were scoreless appearances.
As for Stutes, between Reading and Lehigh Valley in 2010, he collected three saves, a record of 7-1 and a 3.42 ERA in 53 games. His career ERA is 3.36 over 93 games with a 22-11 record.
Naughton photo by lakelandlocal on Flickr
The Phillies added one more alumni back to the organization this week. Former Phils All-Star 2nd baseman, Mickey Morandini has been assigned to manage Class A Williamsport next season. He had been coaching High School baseball and also helped out the Phillies during Spring Training over the past several years as well. Morandini joins other former teammates hired this offseason in coaching roles including Juan Samuel and Ryne Sandberg.
Earlier this week as well, the Phillies picked out 5 young players to add to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from being selected in the Rule-5 draft. This is the current roster below with those 5 players highlighted in blue and I added their fielding positions as well:
In addition to these players, 12 non-roster players have been invited to Spring Training:
- Josh Barfield, INF
- Eddie Bonine, RHP
- Tagg Bozied, INF/OF
- Ryan Feierabend, LHP
- Erik Kratz, C
- Jeff Larish, INF
- Dan Meyer, LHP
- Matt Miller, OF
- Brandon Moss, OF
- Pete Orr, INF
- Juan Perez, LHP
- Dane Sardinha, C
Most of these players have a good amount of major league experience and if they do not make the team, they will probably help fill up the AAA roster. It is thought that if southern Jersey native Dan Meyer is healthy, he may have a shot at a bullpen spot. And Pete Orr could end up as a utility man since he plays multiple positions. The rest are long shots.
This list of players also means we have likely seen the last of Mike Sweeney, which is very sad. Many had hoped he would at least get an invitation to spring training as he was a powerful positive force in the clubhouse since arriving in Philly. He may choose to retire; whatever he does, we wish him the best! Sweeney’s team spirit and upbeat attitude will be missed.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
The first inning of today’s Phillies – Padres match-up was a microcosm of the issues that have been plaguing the Phils since the middle of May. The offense started off with two hits, then they loaded the bases with one out and Jayson Werth hit a weak grounder into a double play to end the inning. Two batters before that, Chase Utley had popped out with 2 men on base.
Werth and Utley, previously two of the teams’ best hitters, are quickly becoming the poster-children for killing rallies. Phillies fans everywhere are losing patience waiting for the two sluggers to find their swings again. Fans used to look forward to seeing them bat. Now, all you can do is cringe when they step to the plate and begin counting the different ways they might kill an inning; will it be a double play? A pop-up? A strike-out? Or maybe the bat will spontaneously combust due to lack of use, rendering him helpless at the plate…the possibilities are endless.
Once again, the real victim of this disgusting and seemingly unending offensive slump is the starting pitcher.
Cole Hamels had a no-hitter working through 6 innings. He finally surrendered back-to-back homers in the 7th to end the streak, but with just those two runs allowed, Hamels more than did his job. It is just one more outstanding pitching performance gone to waste by the Phils offensive offense.
Eight full innings and just 3 hits later, Hamels found himself still without any assistance from his teammates. The pinch hitters failed again in the bottom of the 8th with both Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload going down in flames. Danys Baez pitched the 9th and put the Phillies in a deeper hole by giving up a homer to Adrian Gonzalez, his second of the night.
The Phillies tried to battle back in the bottom of the 9th; Placido Polanco singled, followed by another Utley out. Ryan Howard drove Polanco in but then Werth stepped to the plate and, as has been the trend, he struck out. The Phillies lose 1-3, but I suppose the good news is that at least it was not another shut-out.
Besides the huge disappointment today in the Phillies majors, the minor leagues reported one more bit if depressing news. The “big” prospect the Phillies got in the Cliff Lee trade, pitcher Phillipe Aumont, was demoted to single-A ball after sporting a 10.61 ERA in AA-ball. Remember back in Spring Training when the same guy gave up 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning in an exhibition game against a college team in his first Phillies action? And afterwards, he blamed it on the pressure of being traded for Cliff Lee? Oh yeah, that guy.
So, we get our first peek at how beneficial that trade really was. If Aumont cannot handle pressure, what good is he? And do you really think the Mariners were unaware of this when they sent him packing? I doubt it. Talent and potential are great, but I am pretty sure in the life-game of rock, paper, scissors, that mental toughness trumps both. But hey, Lee will be available again at the trade deadline this year; think the Mariners will take Aumont back? Ha, ha…I crack myself up ;o)
The draft took place tonight and the Phillies have selected a local; Jesse Biddle, a left-handed pitcher, from Philly. Best of luck to the young pitcher!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Happy Bunny by Jim Benton
Kyle Kendrick is going to need to find his happy place after today’s outing against the Nationals. Having done well in Spring Training, Kendrick’s first official start of 2010 was a big disappointment. Lasting only 4 innings, Kendrick allowed 5 runs on 9 hits against a team that sometimes resembles a minor league team. But in the first inning, the Nats looked like they were taking batting practice off the young pitcher.
A sinker ball pitcher, Kendrick left way too many pitches up in the zone and lacked control. He had a great opportunity here with the injury to Joe Blanton to show he could start in the majors again, but after today, it does not look good. Granted, it is only one start, but first impressions can be lasting ones.
The Phillies batters got him off the hook for the loss when they tied the game up in the 6th on a Jimmy Rollins sac fly. But in the 7th, the Nats took the lead again as a result of Nelson Figueroa walking the first batter of the inning who eventually scored. In his first appearance back with the Phillies, Figueroa did fairly well, but the 3 walks he gave up created problems.
Chase Utley led off the 9th with a double and Jayson Werth sacrificed him over to third, giving the Phillies hope. But then Raul Ibanez, who is hitting a meager .091 so far this year, hit a short pop-up to make the second out. It was not nearly far enough to score Utley. Shane Victorino followed suit with a short pop-up of his own to end the game, with the Phillies losing 5-6.
The story of the game was men left on base; the Phils left 11 of them stranded. The at-bats were not as patient as the first two games and the concentration seemed lacking. It was a bad flashback to last year where this teams’ biggest issue was the inability to play small ball and manufacture runs.
The shame of it is that great offensive performances were overshadowed by the lack of timely hitting. Werth hit 3 doubles in the game and the top 5 batters in the order had at least 2 hits each. The bottom of the line-up did not perform and many of the hits came at the wrong times.
But starting the year off with 2 out of 3 is not so bad. So Phillies fans, just for tonight, go find your happy place and hang there until we get to Houston tomorrow night.
Kendrick photo by Jenn
The Phillies prevailed over the Pirates today by a score of 4-3 in the final spring exhibition game. This win brings their Spring Training record to 15 wins, 12 losses and 1 tie. Spring numbers do not mean a whole lot, however, so we will all be very glad to see the real games begin on Monday.
JA Happ started the game today and pitched 3 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits. In the second inning, Happ loaded the bases with no outs and still only managed to give up the one run, thanks in part to some nice defense.
One thing that has stood out the past 3 springs is the effort this team puts forth, even in games that do not mean anything. Phillies players give 100% effort even in Spring Training. It is refreshing to see that they do not hold back and always play the game the right way. Here are just a few of the highlights from today’s game:
In addition to the field acrobatics, a few players stood out at the plate as well. Jayson Werth hit a solo homer in the 4th inning and both Chase Utley and Shane Victorino had 2 hits and 1 RBI each. Raul Ibanez had a rough Spring overall, but he did collect one more hit today to improve his average to .130. The low average is due to his very slow start, but Ibanez looks more comfortable at the plate now and hopefully, he is ready to compete.
The roster is nearly set now; after the game, the following players were assigned to AAA – catcher Paul Hoover, infielders Cody Ransom and Wilson Valdez and outfielder Dewayne Wise. That leaves Juan Castro, Ross Gload, Ben Francisco and Greg Dobbs as the bench players, as well as back-up catcher Brian Schneider.
Three pitchers were placed in the DL retroactive to March 26; Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge and JC Romero. These are not surprises. There are 11 pitchers left on the active roster after these moves, which leaves one spot open for a bullpen pitcher after losing Blanton and moving Kyle Kendrick to the starting rotation. Who the #12 guy will be has not yet been announced, although it is expected to be right-hander Andrew Carpenter.
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game. I will also be at the Opener in DC on Monday and will bring back photos from that one as well. President Obama will toss the first pitch…see you there!
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Photos by Jenn
The timetable for closer Brad Lidge to return may have just been pushed back. After multiple off-season surgeries on both his knee and elbow, Lidge is still experiencing pain in the elbow, although no structural damage has been found. As a result, he was given a cortisone shot. His doctor reports that the elbow inflammation is unrelated to the surgery.
While the team and Lidge are downplaying the seriousness of this issue, a cortisone shot is not a good sign. The fact that the pain is “unrelated” to the surgery could mean that this is a new issue; either that or they are just not giving us all of the facts. In addition, the frequency of injuries that Lidge seems to suffer from does not inspire confidence. Here is a quick review of Lidge’s injury history.
- Lidge missed parts of his first four professional seasons with a variety of injuries, including a torn rotator cuff, right shoulder tendinitis and a broken forearm that almost ended his career.
- 2002: strained intercostal muscle near the rib cage
- December 2003: arthroscopic surgery on his left knee
- June – July 2005: shut down with elbow issues
- May 2007: bone bruise on his right femur near his knee
- June – July 2007: left oblique strain
- October 2007: surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee
- February 2008: tore the meniscus in the same knee he just had surgery on during his first pitch off a mound in Spring Training.
- June 2009: sprained right knee and a sore elbow (his flexor pronator tendon).
- January 2010: surgery on both the elbow and the right knee again.
- March 2010: the elbow is still an issue and Lidge gets a cortisone injection.
Based on the evidence, are we to conclude that Lidge is made of glass? Fans grumbled when he came to Philly because of the injury history, but all was quickly forgotten when 2008 turned into the Perfect Season for him. 2009 was a disaster for Lidge and now, 2010 is not looking good either. Let the grumbling begin…
Another key Phillies pitcher has recently joined the injury parade; starter Joe Blanton strained his left oblique muscle while throwing in the bullpen on Wednesday. He has been placed on the 15-day DL, which puts his earliest return around April 20-28. This type of issue tends to drag on and take a while to heal, which is not good news for the Phillies.
Although, this is good news for Kyle Kendrick who will probably join the rotation now. And that leaves one bullpen spot open as well. Pitchers B.J. Rosenberg and Michael Stutes will travel north to Philly tomorrow for the last two exhibition games and it is likely that one of them may make the team now.
In other recent pitching disasters, Roy Halladay faced his former team for the first time yesterday. The Blue Jays, knowing their old teammate well, took advantage and nailed Halladay for 4 runs in the first inning including a 2-run homer. Halladay recovered and finished off the next two innings without incident. So maybe not quite a disaster….just another Spring Training game so no one really cares ;o)
The Phillies will face the Pirates today and then return to Philly tomorrow for the last few games before Opening Day on Monday in D.C.
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Photo by Jenn
It is official; Jamie Moyer will be the 5th starter in the Phillies pitching rotation and Kyle Kendrick will start in the pen. This is the move everyone expected, so it is not a big shock. And if Moyer gets roughed up, they can always switch roles.
A few other bullpen pitchers to watch as the season begins will be lefty Antonio Bastardo and righty Jose Contreras. These are the two guys who may make or break the pen in April. Bastardo is filling in for JC Romero who is still recovering from arm surgery, but he expects to be ready before the end of April. Bastardo’s pitching has been up and down this spring and after today, he has an ERA of 6.23. He is young, so consistency will be an issue.
On the other hand, Contreras is a veteran who is nearing the golden years of his career. His pitching has been more down than up. Today against the Astros, he blew a Phillies lead in the 5th,, giving up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning. The Phillies lost the game by a score of 2-5. His ERA stands at 9.00 for spring, which is pretty awful. Then again, it is spring and these games don’t count. But how will he perform in April based on what we have seen so far? It is not a pleasant thought.
Brad Lidge is still recovering from surgery too so the Phillies need a closer. Ryan Madson has been officially given the job until Lidge returns. Madson did not adjust to the role very well last year, but knowing ahead of time that the job is his may help. I spoke to Ryan in January on the Phillies Cruise and he feels that with more time to adjust and with more practice in the role, he can be successful. He has the stuff to do the job and I think he will be just fine.
Another head-turner in camp today involved Jayson Werth and the Grizzly Adams / Caveman beard. Todd Zolecki of The Zo Zone reports that Werth shaved off the beard! Tiny, helpless screams from beard-loving fans were heard throughout the town but, in his usual nonchalance, Werth went on with his life and paid them no mind. He is such a rebel ;o)
Two more spring games to go before the Phillies head north on Friday morning! Still counting the days…
Werth photo by Jenn
While nothing official has been announced yet, it looks like the 5th starters spot will go to Jamie Moyer. Against the Yankees on Friday, Moyer solidified his bid for the job by pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed only 1 hit.
His overall ERA for spring is now 2.61, if your count all the “B” games he pitched also. Is it possible that this 47-year old man, coming off 3 surgeries in the off-season, is simply just indestructible? Either he is taking Fountain of Youth pills or secretly, he is Superman with the red, white and blue uniform being perfect camouflage for his super hero suit.
So Kyle Kendrick will probably start the year in the bullpen and just wait around for someone to toss a huge ball of Kryptonite at Moyer. Either way, Kendrick should be content just to make the team after a young but up and down career so far.
Leaving his super hero costume at home, Cole Hamels is still a work in progress. He got beat up on Saturday against the Twins, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in 6 1/3 innings. While Hamels was pleased that he was able to reach the 90-pitch mark in a game, he still has some big control issues to work out. After the game, Hamels told the press that he is “starting to really feel game-oriented.” With only 8 days left until Opening Day, let us hope that his “game-oriented” compass is pointing towards the strike zone.
Another point of concern this spring is Raul Ibanez, who is barely swinging the bat with a paltry .098 average. That is only 4 hits in 41 at bats. Ibanez struggle the 2nd half of 2009 with a hernia that was operated on this off-season. While he recovered well from the operation, he still has not looked at all like the “RAUUUUUL” of old. To make matters worse, he got hit in the right elbow with a pitch on Friday. It may not be a serious injury, but it may be enough that he does not get much more hitting practice before Opening Day.
When the Phillies signed Ibanez to replace Pat Burrell last year, many people, myself included, questioned why they signed a player who was 4-years older than Burrell to a 3-year contract. Ibanez will turn 38 in June and it does appear that he is not wearing the same Superman cape that Jamie Moyer is using. Moyer is a freak of nature. Ibanez, however, appears to be a mere mortal. While everyone was thrilled with his performance in the first half of 2009, things went downhill from there and show no signs of improving. Cross your fingers; this could get interesting.
The good news is, if one of the outfielders should go down, John Mayberry Jr. is waiting in the wings. Mayberry was sent to minor league camp today, but he had a great spring and would likely be first in line to be brought up if anything goes wrong. Mayberry had 6 RBI, a homer, 3 doubles and hit for an average of .289 in camp.
Two more players were reassigned today also; catcher Dane Sardinha and infielder Ozzie Chavez. This means the bench for the Phillies should consist of catcher Brian Schneider, infielders Juan Castro and Greg Dobbs and outfielder Ross Gload. With the 12 pitchers and other regulars, that should complete the 25-man roster.
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Moyer head shot by Jenn