Good title, no? It’s Spring Training, so we’re allowed to work on those, too.
Anywho, the Detroit Tigers came in to Clearwater today and took down the Phillies, 6-2. More important than the score was the debut of Cliff Lee in a Phils uniform, for the second time. So I guess that isn’t quite a debut, but it certainly was his first spring start this year and his first with this team. Here are some notes from today:
-Obviously, all eyes were on Lee and he looked a bit rusty. He left a few hangers over the heart of the plate and allowed to runs in two innings. Lee said himself he was a step behind the rest after dealing with that minor side sprain before the start of Spring Training. Perhaps he was just working out the kinks here. A positive note, he did strikeout three and only threw 18 total pitches over two innings.
–Domonic Brown is still hitless. He went 0-for-3 with two more strikeouts – it’s been an ugly start to spring for Dom. He did say, however, following the loss, that he was starting to feel more comfortable at the plate. Brown said he didn’t feel as though he was pressing.
–Ben Francisco knocked in another run, his fifth in four games. Obviously these games mean little, but it’s still nice to see someone doing well rather than struggle.
–Danys Baez pitched a scoreless inning. It happened, swear.
-Second baseman Josh Barfield had two hits in this game. Could Barfield stick as another backup? He’s had several years of major league service, but has been unable to live up to his hot prospect billing of a few seasons ago. Barfield is still just 28 and did have a solid rookie year back in 2006 with San Diego. Maybe the Phillies can get something out of him.
–Chase Utley still hasn’t been running and there is no timetable yet on his return, but Charlie Manuel told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he’s progressing. Just looks like they’ll take it very slow with him and that’s fine by me. I do hope he gets a few at-bats before Spring Training ends.
Tomorrow, the Phillies are home once again, this time with the Baltimore Orioles.