Ben Francisco put an exclamation point on his fantastic spring training yesterday, hitting a three-run homer as the Phils topped the Astros 7-6 to end their Grapefruit League schedule. Francisco came into camp looking to show he could be the everyday guy in right field for the Phils this season and pounded the ball, posting a 385/467/677 line over 65 at-bats. His 1.144 OPS was the best among Phillies that got at least 10 plate appearances.
Ben Francisco’s full name is Louis Ben Francisco. So, when you get right down to it, it’s really not all about the Benjamin (unless it’s all about someone else).
Nate Bump got the start for the Phillies in the game and allowed a run on eight hits and a walk over five innings. Baez walked one in a scoreless sixth and Contreras got one out in the seventh before Derrick Loop (really!) took over for him. Loop, Michael Sisco and Ebelin Lugo finished out the game for the Phils. They combined to allow five runs in 2 2/3 innings, with Lugo and Loop both charged with runs and Cisco throwing a scoreless frame.
Contreras threw just one pitch in the game because the mound was wet due to heavy rain.
Victorino 2-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs.
Castillo was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. 4-for-19 (.211) with four walks with the Phils, Martinez 0-for-1. Young 0-for-1. Mayberry 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Gload was the DH in his continuing effort to demonstrate he’s not a right fielder.
The Phils went 20-13 in official spring games and will play the Pirates tonight and Wednesday in Citizens Bank Park. Oswalt is expected to start. Hamels will start on Wednesday with Blanton likely to throw a few innings in relief.
Utley says his goal is to be back by the All-Star break. Amaro says he won’t go on the 60-day DL.
The article linked above says that Michael Stutes will be with the team for the two games with the Pirates, but isn’t likely to start the year with the Phils.
This says the Phillies have signed Kevin Frandsen to a minor league deal. The righty Frandsen has played every position in the majors except catcher and center field, posting a 243/302/335 career line over 626 plate appearances. He turns 29 in May.