-All the local Phillies beats are reporting that JC Romero believes he will be ready by opening day, and if not by then, definitely a week or so into the season.
This is a great sign that Romero has recovered from elbow surgery, because it’s imperative he find his 2008 form when he was one of the best situational lefties in baseball. With Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona being the primary lefties with Romero out, the Phils could use that stabilizing force in the bullpen. I will say this; I am excited to see what both of the young lefties will bring to the table this spring. In winter ball, Bastardo was lights out, while Escalona struggled mightily.
–According to the twitter of Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, Phillippe Aumont had “great action on his fastball” today. That’s an important sign as Aumont is being groomed as a starter once again. The Seattle Mariners used him out of the bullpen to fast-track him to the majors, but the Phillies see him as part of the rotation down the line.
Unfortunately, there will be some pressure on Aumont to show his skill during Spring Training as a way of justifying the Cliff Lee deal. Right or wrong, that’s the way it goes, so lets see how Aumont deals with being a target during the early part of spring.
–Chien Ming Wang agreed to a deal with the Washington Nationals today. It’s for one-year and $2 million that includes $3 million is bonuses.
In swapping emails with our very own Amanda Orr, she believes the Nats could win 75 games this year. After all, they’ve been very active this offseason signing Wang, Matt Capps, Eddie Guardado, Adam Kennedy, Jason Marquis, Scott Olsen, Pudge Rodriguez, Tyler Walker (our old friend), and Miguel Batista. They’ve certainly done some maneuvering and are getting better slowly, so 75 wins is not out of the question. That just makes it even more difficult for the Phillies in a slightly-better (on paper) NL East.