It’s Opening Day, but the boring one. The Phillies open up their Grapefruit League schedule this afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with the first pitch in Bradenton at 1:05. Here are a few Phillies notes as we head into the Spring Training Schedule.
1. Jimmy Rollins SS
2. Shane Victorino CF
3. Raul Ibanez LF
4. Ryan Howard 1B
5. Geoff Jenkins RF
6. Matt Stairs DH
7. Jason Donald 2B
8. Eric Bruntlett 3B
9. Chris Coste C
Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton will each throw about 40 pitches.
– Donald gets the first shot, which is probably insignificant, at second base, open at least temporarily, until Chase Utley returns. Utley continues to be optimistic he’ll be ready for Opening Day. This and the fifth starter race are the main things to follow in camp.
– Carlos Carrasco and JA Happ will pitch tomorrow against Toronto, Kyle Kendrick on Saturday against Tampa Bay, and Chan-Ho Park on Sunday against Atlanta. These four fight for the fifth-starter’s job.
– Philadelphia Daily News writer David Murphy on 2008 first-round pick Anthony Hewitt: “2008 first-round draft pick Anthony Hewitt might hit the ball as hard as anybody in camp. The ball just explodes off his bat. It’s pretty amazing to watch and consider that he is still a teenager. That said, don’t expect to see him in the big leagues any time soon. He is very much a project. Still, it is fun to watch him take batting practice.”
Hewitt could be in Lakewood in 2009.
– Murphy on two former BlueClaws: “Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo are two guys I’m looking forward to seeing in action. Neither are likely to make the team. But both have had flashes of brilliance in the minors.”