It just seems like the Phillies players are dropping like flies to injuries this spring and limping their way into the Major league season where there is likely to be two of the Phillies big bats out of the lineup on opening day in Pittsburgh.
No Philadelphia Phillies fan ever wants to hear this and I’m cringing right now typing this so just bear with me through this story. Chase Utley has left camp to go see a specialist and is doubtful for opening day in Pittsburgh. Freddy Galvis likely will be the opening day starter at second base
Phillies General Manger Ruben Amaro Jr. issues a Statement through the team.
“Chase’s rehab process has come to a bit of a plateau. He has made some strides but not enough to take the field. He is headed out-of-town for a few days to be evaluated by a specialist that has helped athletes overcome his issue. We anticipate that this trip will allow him to build on what he has already done with Scott Sheridan in order to get over the hump. He wants more than anything to be on the field with his teammates and we believe that this is a step in that direction.”
If you recall last year Utley missed all of spring training and the first 46 games of the regular season due to this same type of problem. The Phillies really can’t afford that this year because Ryan Howard is also out due to injury as he tries to recover from his Achilles tendon injury he suffered on the final play of the Phillies playoff last year and probably is not expected back into the lineup until about June. So that is the number two hitter and the number three hitter out for the Phillies. This is just kind of depressing as I type this, we really don’t know if Utley will be out long or anything at this point we just have to wait to see what the specialists have to say.
It’s hard to picture the opening day lineup without Chase Utley in it and now especially with slugger Ryan Howard not going to be it. This will be the second year in a row that Utley is not penciled in at second base on the opening day lineup card for the Phillies.
In a day of Philadelphia Phillies news where this story takes a backseat to the whole Chase Utley news, but today I was shocked to see the Phillies release right hander sinker ball pitcher Joel Pineiro.
Joel Pineiro who is 33 was released this morning on a day where he was scheduled to pitch in the spring training game against the Detroit Tigers. Pineiro probably was not going to make the Major League team but could have added some depth on the triple A team for the Phils. Looks like the Phillies want to go younger with their relief staff.
Scott Elarton was the starting pitcher for the Phillies today, Elarton pitched 2.1 innings allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, including a two run home run. Elarton also struck out four Tigers batters. Elarton has not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2008 when he pitched 15.1 innings for the Indians that season. Phillies relief pitchers did not allow a run today.
Phillies score four runs off of six hits today in Clearwater Florida. John Mayberry Jr. drove home the first run today in the bottom of the fifth for the Phillies on a bloop single to centerfield. Phillies would score more in the fifth with Freddy Galvis who is having a wonderful spring, a triple that scored two, Phillies would get one more run in the fifth off of a Jimmy Rollins sacrifice fly. Phillies got all of their four runs in the fifth inning today.
A scary moment in the bottom of the first for Detroit Tigers third baseman slugger Miguel Cabrera when Hunter Pence lined a ball to third and it looked like it bounced off of Cabrera’s eye or face. There was a lot of blood coming from his face after the contact from the ball and he was taken out of the game at the time, he was taken to a local hospital for check up. Cabrera is more of a power hitter then a defensive expert, Cabrera is a first baseman but has been moved to third this year because of Tigers offseason free agent signing of first basemen Prince Fielder.
Phillies next spring training game is tomorrow against the Baltimore Orioles at 1:05 Pm Eastern Time.
Opening Day is just 17 days away for the Phillies when they open up this season on a Thursday in Pittsburgh.
The Philadelphia Phillies play the red hot Detroit Tigers today at Brighthouse Field in Clearwater Florida.
Tigers are 12-1 this spring.
Scott Elarton takes the hill for the Phillies
1. Jimmy Rollins SS
2. Shane Victorino CF
3. Hunter Pence RF
4. Jim Thome DH
5. Ty Wigginton 3B
6. Laynce Nix LF
7. John Mayberry Jr.1B
8. Carlos Ruiz C
9. Freddy Galvis 2B