This is the last Sunday of the Grapefruit League. It is the last Sunday of Spring Training. With three games left this Spring, and two of them being played at Citizens Bank Park, we as fans can’t help but to look towards the start of the season.
Obviously there some things not looking forward to. Like the DL list. The Phillies will start the season with both Brad Lidge and Chase Utley on the DL. Utley has never been able to shake patellar tendinitis, chondromalacia and bone inflammation in his right knee. He hasn’t been able to run or field ground balls since February.
Lidge missed some games earlier this month due to tendinitis in his right elbow. He was able to come back, throw a little and was optimistic that he would be ready for Opening Day. However, it’s Lidge’s shoulder that will land him on the DL. This is something that worries the team and Lidge as he said ‘I’m a little concerned, because I haven’t had shoulder problems in the past.’
In his four seasons with the Phillies, this is the third time he will start the season on the disabled list. If all goes well, the earliest Lidge could come back is April 9. He will have an MRI this week in Philadelphia.
Other ailing Phillies are obviously Domonic Brown, who broke his hand earlier this Spring, and third baseman Placido Polanco. He hyperextended his left elbow about two weeks ago. It was the same elbow he had bone fragments removed from in the offseason. Polanco has played two games since returning and will take part in the final Grapefruit League game Monday against the Astros. Polly is hitting only .171 this Spring, but Charlie Manuel isn’t concerned. He isn’t a man of many words, and even when he is you can’t fully understand him anyways. He merely said, “He can hit.” There you go.
Roy Halladay had his final tune up for Opening Day today and went three innings without allowing a run. Doc finished the Spring with a 0.42 ERA and a WHIP of 0.92. The other Roy, Oswalt, looks to be shaken but not stirred after taking a line drive off the dome piece from Manny Ramirez. He is expected to make his next start after all tests came back negative on his head and neck.
The Phillies are assured of finishing over .500 this Spring and look to start the year off with a bang. Ryan Madson will step in as the closer, with the help of Jose Contreras, while Lidge is out. And as the season lingers closer, the roster will have to be determined.
via Todd Zolecki – The Phillies plan to carry 13 position players, and 11 of those spots have been locked up: catchers Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider; infielders Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco and Wilson Valdez; and outfielders Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Ben Francisco, Ross Gload and John Mayberry Jr.
This means there are two bench spots up for grabs. Pete Orr, Luis Castillo, Delwyn Young and Michael Martinez are competing for those two spots. Zolecki thinK. Martinez has an inside track on one of those spots, and the Phillies have a couple more games to figure out the other.
Five more days Nation. 162 games, err I mean 173. World Series or bust? Sounds good to me.