Have you noticed Nation? Of course you have. Baseball is back. Spring Training games have started.
The Phillies started it off on Thursday taking on the Florida State Seminoles in their annual tune up for the Grapefruit League. Ryan Howard, looking to forget in the now infamous ‘caught looking’ moment wasted no time showing the fans his approach this season. Howard laced a two-run double of the wall in the first inning against the Seminoles in route to an 8-0 victory.
The fans in attendance, a little over 3000, got a chance to see some of the young talented crop of pitchers the Phillies have in the system do work. Drew Naylor started the game allowing only one hit in his two innings of work while striking out two. Scott Mathieson, Michael Stutes, Michael Schwimer and Justin De Fratus each had an inning of work. Stutes allowed one hit and struck out three hitters for his inning. After the game Mathieson and De Fratus talked with our Minor League contributor Jay Floyd about pitching in the Spring Opener.
Cole Hamels got the nod for the first Grapefruit League game for the Phillies. A couple other Philies regulars like Howard, Ben Francisco, Domonic Brown, Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez also got into the starting card against the New York Yankees for the first game. Phillies would go on to win 5-4.
Other stuff this week you might have missed; our own Corey Seidman looks at the teeny tiny possibility of the Nationals trading a guy like Mike Morse and why the Phillies could benefit from his services. Morse, like Jayson Werth at this point in his career, has a lot of upside and could come cheap. He may get lost in the outfield shuffle at Nats Park. Seidman breaks it down a lot better than I ever could.
As if Spring Training games weren’t enough excitement for you, Phillies Nation has announced its first bus trip of the season. We will be heading to our Nation’s capital to watch the Phillies take on the Washington Nationals and our old buddy Jayson Werth. And you know we will be sitting in right field to cheer and jeer him. Reserve your spot now, they won’t last long.
It just wouldn’t be a typical week here at the Nation without some Cliff Lee talk. Pat Gallen goes all Al Pacino on us and plays devil’s advocate asking if the Lee deal will be worth it in the end. Before you take Gallen off your Christmas card send-out list, give it a read. He makes some interesting points.
As the season looms closer and closer you have to make you sure you are wearing the right stuff. We have a ton of new stuff for the 2011 season. Check out the store and get your very own Phillies Nation products. Lots of new stuff available.
Also, you can still relive the Top 25 Moments of 2010 and meet the top guys in the farm system at Prospect Nation. Take a trip down memory lane or wow the guys at the water cooler with some useless knowledge.