The numbers are not pretty, but it’s early and Domonic Brown said he feels fine.
Well, he feels mostly fine.
“I’m just trying to feel comfortable,” he said today at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. “I’m just trying to stay with the same approach. I’ve been working all winter with it. It’s the first couple days I’m seeing pitches. I know it’s going to happen. I’m not stressing about anything.”
Brown is 0 for 9 with two walks and six strikeouts in three Grapefruit League games. He went 0 for 4 with one walk and two strikeouts today against the Blue Jays.
Brown has been working with his stance since the end of last season. He has tried to lower his hands, and he has not found the perfect spot yet. His held his hands much lower in the batter’s box Sunday against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field, where he went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. He held his hands noticeably higher today, but still lower than they were last season when he played with the Phillies.
Coming to Florida in the next week?
Here is the Phillies’ pitching schedule through Sunday:
- Tuesday vs. Tigers: Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick, Eddie Bonine, Dan Meyer, Danys Baez and Mike Zagurski.
- Wednesday vs. Orioles: Roy Oswalt, Vance Worley, Brian Bass, Justin De Fratus, David Herndon and Brad Lidge.
- Wednesday vs. Blue Jays (“B” game at Carpenter Complex): Drew Naylor, Ryan Feierabend, Jose Contreras, Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero.
- Thursday @ Red Sox: Cole Hamels, Scott Mathieson, Brian Schlitter, Michael Stutes, Juan Perez and Michael Schwimer.
- Friday @ Pirates: Joe Blanton, Baez, Meyer, Andrew Carpenter, Zagurski and Antonio Bastardo.
- Saturday vs. Pirates: Roy Halladay, J.C. Ramirez, Madson, Contreras and Lidge.
- Sunday @ Tigers: Kendrick, Herndon, Stutes, Perez, Schlitter and Schwimer.
- Sunday vs. Rays: Lee, Bonine, Romero, Mathieson and De Fratus.
Chase Utley has tendinitis in his right knee, and the Phillies said they will bring him along slowly this spring to ensure he is ready for the season.
They said Utley is not scheduled for a cortisone injection.
Utley said surgery has not been discussed.
Utley is not in the lineup for today’s Grapefruit League game against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field. He has missed three games, including Thursday’s game against the Florida State Seminoles and yesterday’s game against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
Utley had a MRI yesterday. The results showed patellar tendinitis.
“It was bothering him enough and bothering me enough to frankly go ahead a precautionarily do that,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said about the MRI. “It causes some soreness, and rather than really push him early here we’re going to kind of take it easy on him so there aren’t residual effects during the course of the year.”
Is it serious?
“If he continues to aggravate it, it could get more painful,” Amaro said.
Utley said he has had tendinitis in the knee in the past, although it hasn’t gone away as quickly as it has in the past. He said his knee started bothering him again sometime during the offseason. He said he feels no soreness when he hits, but feels it when running and playing defense.
“I think at this point it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Utley said. “I’d rather miss some games here than miss games during the season. It’s something that I’ve dealt with before. It’s something I’m probably going to have to continue to maintain and keep an eye on.”
Baseball is back, Spring Training style.
The Phillies beat the Yankees today at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 5-4. Cole Hamles allowed on unearned run in two innings. Vance Worley, Justin Feierabend, Brian Schlitter, Mike Zagurski and Jason Grilli also pitched.
Charlie Manuel had only a few words after the game, but really there wasn’t much to say. It was the first Grapefruit League game, which means there are 30 more days before the Phillies board a flight to Philadelphia to finish the exhibition schedule with a couple games March 29-30 against the Pirates at Citziens Bank Park.
Chase Utley is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Yankees.
The Phillies open their Grapefruit League season this afternoon against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Here is the Phillies’ lineup:
- Pete Orr, 2B
- Ross Gload, DH
- Raul Ibanez, LF
- Ryan Howard, 1B
- Ben Francisco, CF
- Domonic Brown, RF
- Jeff Larish, 3B
- Brian Schneider, C
- Wilson Valdez, SS
Charlie Manuel said he scratched Jimmy Rollins from the lineup because Rollins missed the last two days of workouts. He said Rollins will play tomorrow in the Grapefruit League home opener against the Yankees at Bright House Field.
Chase Utley is not playing because of what Manuel has called soreness in his knees and legs. I’m not sure what to make of it. Utley would not say this morning what the problem is, but it’s something. Keep an eye on this, especially if Utley isn’t in the lineup early next week. Jayson Werth missed the first three Grapefruit League games in 2009 because he “wasn’t ready to play,” the implication being Werth wasn’t in baseball shape. The difference here is Manuel said Utley has soreness, although he said it only comes from rigorous workouts.
Is there cause for concern? Utley played coy when asked what’s wrong.
“If there’s cause for concern you’ll be the first to know,” Utley said.
Phillies fans will start filling Bright House Field on Sunday, when the Phillies play the New York Yankees.
First time in Clearwater? Been here a bunch already?
Here are a few personal recommendations:
- If you are coming to Clearwater, try to stay near the beach. Why? Are you really asking me why?
- A spring training tradition is breakfast at Lenny’s, which is a short walk (an even shorter drive) from the ballpark. Everything there is good. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
- Another spring training tradition is a stop at one of the four Frenchy’s restaurants. Famous for their grouper sandwiches, although generally everything they serve is excellent. Frenchy’s Rockaway is on the beach, and has a good atmosphere at night and on the weekends. If you want to see some ballscribes in person, try Frenchy’s Original. South Beach Cafe is across the street from the beach. Salt Water is good, too. A good, relaxed beach vibe at every one.
- My personal favorite place to eat in Clearwater? Island Way Grill. Probably the trendiest place near the beach — I snuck in there once with a disguise — but I think the food is very good.
- Like sushi? Kiku is right around the corner from Frenchy’s Original.
- Like Italian? There is Villa Gallace on Indian Rocks Beach and Cesare’s (never been to Cesare’s, but have heard good things from a few people).
- Looking for places to go after dinner on Clearwater beach? There is Frenchy’s Rockaway, Palm Pavilion, Kelly’s Beach Bar and Shephard’s. (I heard Shephard’s is good on Sundays, although I’ve honestly never been.) There are other places down by St. Pete beach and in Tampa, obviously, but I’m sticking with Clearwater beach here.
- If you’re in town during the NCAA tournament, Tilted Kilt is across the street from the ballpark and has a bunch of TVs.
- Looking to blow some coin on a big steak dinner? Bern’s in Tampa is a good choice. Make sure to get dessert.
- One place I still haven’t tried, but have heard good things about is Salt Rock Grill, which is south of Clearwater beach. If anybody goes, tell me what you think.
- Everybody always asks about autographs. The only advice I can give is stand along the third-base line and hope for the best. Another piece of advice: If you’re an adult, it’s best to act like one. Don’t try to guilt a player into signing, like, “Come on, dude, I drove here from Philly!” Don’t try to use your child as a reason to sign, like, “Come on, man, sign for my three-year-old son! It would mean everything to him!” Be respectful. Be polite. And say thanks. I think that generally works best.
- The postgame scene at the tiki pavilion in left field is great. That’s a must.
- If you have any other questions — there are plenty of other good places to eat in Clearwater — let me know. I’ll try to help.
The Phillies have reached agreement with almost everybody in camp. Here is a look at some of their recent agreements:
- Domonic Brown: $89,180 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors. Award bonus: $25,000 for Rookie of the Year.
- Andrew Carpenter: $67,300 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Freddy Galvis: $33,600 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Harold Garcia: $33,600 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Cesar Hernandez: $33,600 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- John Mayberry Jr.: $103,969 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Carlos Rivero: $67,300 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
- Vance Worley: $67,300 in Minors, $414,000 in Majors.
Mike Schmidt is in camp this week as a guest instructor, and he spoke for nearly 30 minutes this morning at Bright House Field.
He had plenty to say, especially about the Phillies’ offense.
Here are the highlights:
Q: What do you think about this year’s additions to the Phillies?
A: Maybe the best ever. A lot of this has already been said, but winning baseball is about pitching and defense and offense is sort of secondary. If a team is built around something and can be built around the four greatest starters maybe ever assembled on one team, you feel like you’ve really got a chance, a strong chance of having a great year. Probably deep enough to be able to withstand an injury here and there. If the pitching staff stays healthy all year and Brad (Lidge) and the guys in the middle of the bullpen are healthy and are good, it’s going to be an exciting team to watch. Maybe more exciting than any team they’ve had and they’ve sure had some exciting ones the last couple years. I’m excited being around here in camp. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Roy Halladay yet or Cliff Lee or actually any of them. Cole (Hamels) and I live in the same place and we chatted this morning. I drafted Cliff Lee first in the golf tournament (Friday). I look forward to a day with Cliff Lee. He’s got to be able to play golf, doesn’t he? Slick left-hander like that? He’s got to have some golf game. I feel blessed that I still have a role, though it’s bit of a minor role with the team, more of a marketing role now. My relationship with the Phillies right now is as strong as it’s ever been. And that part of my life is really good. I’m a very happy man.
Let’s work from the bottom up:
82. Shane Victorino
71. Cole Hamels
51. Roy Oswalt
31. Cliff Lee
26. Chase Utley
25. Ryan Howard
2. Roy Halladay
Albert Pujols is the top-ranked player in baseball. Falling behind Halladay in the top 10 are Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano, Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton.
Heard the weather is a bit nippy back in Philly. It’s 73 degrees already at 10 a.m. in Clearwater. Get down here.
The Phillies posted their pitching schedule for their first four Grapefruit League games, and as it lines up their rotation to open the 2011 season will be in the following order: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton.
Here it is:
- Saturday @ Yankees: Hamels, Vance Worley, Ryan Feierabend, Brian Schlitter and Mike Zagurski.
- Sunday vs. Yankees: Blanton, Justin DeFratus, Michael Schwimer, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge.
- Feb. 28 @ Blue Jays: Halladay, J.C. Ramirez, Michael Stutes, Juan Perez and Scott Mathieson.
- March 1 vs. Tigers: Lee, Kyle Kendrick, Eddie Bonine, Dan Meyer, Danys Baez and Zagurski.
I assume Oswalt will pitch March 2 vs. Baltimore.
Drew Naylor will start Thursday against Florida State at Bright House Field. Also scheduled to face the Seminoles are Bonine, Perez, Stutes, Schwimer, DeFratus and Mathieson. Bonine also is scheduled to pitch Saturday in a “B” game against the Blue Jays in Clearwater.