Today’s The Big Day

Happy Pitchers and Catchers Report Day!

Many Phillies are already in camp, but today is official report day for Phillies pitchers and catchers. Position players report later this week.

Todd Zolecki has a rundown of some of the camp position battles, including what he projects could be two former BlueClaws, Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown, batting it out for one outfield spot. In the bullpen, Jake Diekman, Mike Stutes, Justin De Fratus, and BJ Rosenberg, all former BlueClaws, will be competing for spots.

Minor leaguers report in a few weeks, and I’ll post the minor league spring training schedule later this morning.

We also forgot to post about Michael Bourn going to the Indians. Bourn was a 2004 BlueClaw who stole 57 bases, the 3rd highest single-season total in franchise history. We wish him the best of luck.

More and more lately, we’ve heard about the importance of draft picks. The Mets were reportedly careful about pursuing Bourn because they might have to give up their first round pick (11th overall). What made the Indians a fit? File this away when projecting where free agents end up next winter. From the Plain Dealer:

The Tribe went into the off-season knowing they had to upgrade the outfield. They displayed initial interest in Bourn, but he was way out of their price range. Instead, they pursued Shane Victorino and Swisher, while Bourn’s price dropped because most of the high-profile teams interested in him didn’t want to part with their No. 1 draft pick as compensation.

The Tribe’s No. 1 pick was protected because it finished with one of the 10 worst records in the big leagues last year. They’d already lost their No. 2 pick by signing Swisher, which meant the most they could lose in signing Bourn was a pick between the second and third rounds that came their way through last year’s competitive-balance lottery.

They were in a unique position, and the Dolan family gave Antonetti the green light to go for it.

We wish Bourn the best of luck.

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