Ok, it’s already been a wild and crazy week from Clearwater. Everyone’s back and working out. Some minor injuries have already popped up and continuous talks about Chase Utley‘s health and Ryan Howard‘s achilles will, well, continue.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke to the media on Friday about Cliff Lee, Jose Contreras and Justin De Fratus nursing some ailments. Lee had soreness in his midsection but threw again today with no pain. Contreras is coming off a season with elbow issues but looked good throwing and the staff seem very optimistic. De Fratus looks to be out a week with his own version of elbow soreness.
Most of the big names reporting to camp this past week spoke to the media to address health issues and strategies for the upcoming season. Some important topics were Utley’s knee and Charlie Manuel’s opinion on what he should get out of Jimmy Rollins this season.
Ryan Howard is coming off surgery and is looking like he could be ahead of schedule. A May return is not out of the question at this point. Howard took batting practice for the first time this week since surgery and says he is feeling about 40% healthy. Amaro went out this offseason and picked up some players like Jim Thome and Lance Nix to help fill the void in Howard’s absence. Jon ponders the question if Howard comes back early what does that mean for those guys and the rest of the team?
Again this season, Phillies Nation wanted to give a more insider look at Spring Training. Luckily enough for us De Fratus agreed to provide a first hand encounter of Clearwater. This week he talks about the trip cross country, how this year already feels different and who he’s been working out with. There will be more to come from the Phillies young righty prospect.
As the season draws closer, the Nation will be once again hosting a fantasy baseball league. Make sure you sign up to ensure your spot. We have already had hundreds of requests. Going to be a big year.