Today is the first and only off day for the Phillies this spring training and I thought this will be a good time to review some of the things that have happen in Clearwater Florida so far.
The Phillies again will enter the season with questions and a little bit of nervousness as Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are both out with injuries, the problem is we really don’t have a timetable on Utley or Howard’s injuries just yet. Everybody is just guessing right now when they will return and I don’t even think Howard or Utley know when they will come back, but this is going to be two major losses to open the season. Freddy Galvis who is really a shortstop at heart is going to be penciled in the opening day lineup as the second baseman. The Phillies have a couple of guys that can fill in at first base as we await the healing process for Ryan Howard, Phillies have Ty Wigginton, John Mayberry Jr., and Jim Thome who can fill in. Thome is a bit of a stretch because he hasn’t played at first base in the Major Leagues for a long time but the Phils have been having Thome play at first this spring training.
The Phillies really just have to get through these first couple of months of the regular season and hope there still in the division hunt.
Phillies are going to have some problems because the number two hitter and the number three hitter in the lineup are going to be out, that is a lot of offense that is just going to be sucked out of this Phillies lineup. Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence really need to step up for this ball club in the first couple of months and try to help the Phillies get through these injuries.
Roy Halladay hasn’t had the best spring ever but again I would rather have him struggle now then in the regular season. I’m not really worried about Halladay because his velocity seemed back to normal yesterday, reports came out earlier this spring saying Halladay was injured but Roy quickly dismissed that report and called it “poor reporting” Doc did mention his velocity is down but he basically said it was because he is older now and it takes longer to get back into that Midseason Roy Halladay type form. I’m definitely not worried about him and expect him to have a wonderful year and hopefully maybe win a Cy Young Award.
Phillies released Dontrelle Willis earlier this spring and I really thought that was a smart move on the Phillies part. This was a good move because Willis is pretty much a player at the end of his career right now that can’t really locate a ball if his life depended on it. We were not getting the Dominate Willis in 2003, no we are getting the 9 years later aged Willis who is not even close to the same pitcher he used to be, plus I don’t think he was that good to begin with.
Kyle Kendrick has had an excellent spring training thus far and is trying to prove his case for the fifth spot in the Phillies starting rotation. Right now it looks like the fifth spot in the rotation will either be given to Joe Blanton or Kyle Kendrick, if the Phillies went by this springs stats to determine the starter it would hands down go to Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick so far this spring has pitched a total of 8.1 innings and has not allowed a run yet, Joe Blanton on the other hand has pitched 10 innings and has an ERA of 2.70. My personal Preference would to give Kyle Kendrick the starting pitcher role and try to trade Joe Blanton, it would be tough to trade Blanton because he has one of the worst contracts ever. Blanton is getting paid 24 million dollars over three years. I really don’t know what the Phillies were thinking when they gave him this contract but we really need to get rid of him or just renew a better more respectible contract at the end of the year.
Only 15 days until opening day when the Phillies begin the season in Pittsburgh and I can hardly wait.