Camp Notes: Phillies in Clearwater
Some brief camp notes from the past couple days out of Clearwater, Fla., where the World Champion Phitins make their home:
- The Phillies' biggest concern heading into camp was second baseman Chase Utley's health after offseason hip surgery. Well, Utley is already out fielding grounders in practice, and while prior timetables said he'd miss Opening Day, he's holding out hope he'll be on the roster.
- No surprise here: Cole Hamels will the the Opening Day starter, which means that he'll throw out the first official pitch of the Major League season.
- General Manager Ruben Amaro has been open about his search for another right-handed bat to bring off the bench, and he signed veteran infielder Miguel Cairo on Sunday. Could Cairo fill that role? Well, his career average as a pinch hitter is .284, but he'll have to beat out a host of other utility infielders -- including Marcus Giles and Jason Donald, one of the team's top prospects -- to earn a roster spot.
- Somehow this seems to be flying under the radar, but slugger Ryan Howard -- he of the newly-minted, 3-year $54 million contract -- lost a whopping 20 pounds during the offseason. Guess he's been laying off those Subway cheesesteaks he advertises, huh?
- Speaking of Weight Watchers, pitcher Brett Myers dropped 30 pounds of his own, and feels like his added fitness will help him avoid the horrible first half of the season that nearly sank his 2008 campaign.
- There's a four-man fight for the fifth spot in Philadelphia's rotation, but indications are that Kyle Kendrick is pulling away, for now. Lefthander J.A. Happ, new addition Chan Ho Park and young minor leaguer Carlos Carrasco -- on of the top prospects in Philadelphia's minor league system -- are the other options.
- Of course, that means that Adam Eaton, who will collect $9 million from the Phillies this year whether he pitches for them or not, isn't in the mix. He knows it, and is already preparing for his exit. If he ends up catching on and getting hot with another team, they could get him for $400,000, with the Phillies on the hook for the rest of the $9 million, plus a $500,000 kicker for not picking up a $9 million in 2010. Ouch.
Posted by: PhilliesPhan | February 16, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse
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