It is finally here. Super Bowl Sunday! Enjoy your snow Dallas. For Phillies fans, this just means we are that much closer to pitchers and catchers reporting down to Clearwater. With our beloved Eagles exiting the postseason early all attention has been turned to the four aces and this juggernaut of a team Ruben Amaro Jr has put together. We are only eight days away! February 14th is when pitchers and catchers can voluntarily show up for Spring Training. But as I am sure many of you would have guessed, a good amount of guys are already down in FL gearing up for the start of the Spring.
Our Minor League insider Jay Floyd, once again, has been at it all week introducing you to the top prospects down on the farm in Prospect Nation. This week we met Phillippe Aumont. At #13 he has been on the Phillies radar ever since he came over from Seattle in the Cliff Lee trade. The former first round pick has battled some injuries early in his career while the organization still tries to figure out where he fits in. For the 2011 season it looks like Aumont will head back to the bullpen, where he might be more comfortable. The 6’7″ 255 pound Aumont, who Floyd calls a ‘pudding prospect’ says, is capable of becoming a gratifying home made treat.
For Prospect Nation, it doesn’t get much sweeter than #11 Matt Rizzotti and #12 Harold Garcia. May and June’s Phillies Minor League players of the month, respectively. These are two guys that Floyd thinks could see Major League call-ups this season. Rizzotti is a kid who spent a lot of last season working on his hitting and it paid off. He finished hitting .358 or better for both High A Clearwater and Double A Reading. With a certain first baseman in his way, Rizzotti could attract possible American League suitors if his numbers continue to impress. Garcia was pouring on his own numbers down in Clearwater as well. He broke a 59-year old Florida State League record by recording at least one hit in 37 straight games. Garcia could be a very good utility type guy for a big league team; including the Phillies.
For Top Moments, we are just about ready to break into the top ten. Michael Baumann tackled #12 and thank God he did. The only thing better than the game was his tweet about it – ‘Jay Bruce loses a fly ball and I lose my shit–it’s Top Moment No. 12!’ You know you were thinking the same thing watching that game. As an extra, Mike added his reaction to Bruce’s muffed catch to the post. You will find it most fulfilling. Be sure to check out Jimmy Rollins‘ walk-off in #13 and #14 where, yes again, Rollins provided the late game heroics.
The Phillies announced this week that fans will be able to enjoy all 162 games this season from the comfort of their own homes. Yay for us! Comcast SportsNet will carry 103 games on their network with the Comcast Network also airing three games in April. MyPHL17 will have 45 games including the home opener against the Astros April 1. ESPN picked up two Sunday night games while FOX is covering nine Saturday games. And remember, you can listen to all the games on the Phillies Flagship station WPHT.
Going into the home opener, there is no doubt who takes the ball. Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball and one of, if not the most, hardest working players in the entire league; nay the world. It’s also no surprise that we are talking about his work load from last season as a new season dawns upon us. A night after Halladay picked up yet another award, this one in the form of the Outstanding Pro Athlete award, Pat Gallen touched on some possible ‘inning saving’ techniques. Toss up an assist or two to Dave Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com for also touching on Halladay’s high amount of innings last season.
I guess it just wouldn’t be a good week until we looked at yet another Mets blunder. For the record I still have no idea how this one is even linked back to the team. With that said, owner Fred Wilpon announced his intention of selling part of, if not more, of the Mets to help pay litigation costs stemming from the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. I know, me neither. MB takes a look at how this effects Phillies fans, not much, and does his best to make sense of all this. One good thing for the Mets is they will be hosting the 2013 All Star game at Citi Field. They will have front row seats cheering on Halladay, Chase Utley and maybe even Domonic Brown. Isn’t it great being a Phillies fan?
If you are still looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your dude or just need something to wear for Opening Day head over to the Phillies Nation store and check out our new tee designs. Up new this week we pay homage to the Four Aces, R2C2, the Four Horsemen or whatever you call them with ‘Philly’s Pitchers.” Also available is ‘The Vet.’ All shirts are ready to please and be worn.
Some quick hits from this past week – The Phillies signed journeyman Jason Grilli to a minor league contract without an invite to big league camp. PG looked into the possibility of trading Joe Blanton to the Yankees after Andy Pettitte announced he would retire. On a side note, I have read that Cliff Lee‘s decision to go somewhere not called New York did play a factor. A small factor I am sure, but still a factor. Or maybe I made that up.
Have a great week Nation! We do this for you.