And by obvious things, what I have in mind is Utley and Howard topping out their combined Spring Training production by fielding ground balls while sitting in a chair. Stuff like that.
The Phillies can’t score in Spring Training, which wouldn’t matter at all except there’s a whole lot of fans out there worried they won’t be able to score when they start playing games where nobody is running laps in the outfield either.
As if on cue, the Phils got four hits yesterday, all singles, as they lost to Toronto 2-0 to drop to 9-10 in official Spring Training action. Over their last six games they’ve scored 16 runs, which is about 2.67 runs per game.
Cliff Lee started the game for the Phillies and pitched very well. He went six innings, allowing a run on five hits to drop his ERA to 3.45. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven.
Chad Qualls set Toronto down in order in the seventh, dropping his spring ERA to 5.40. Contreras pitched the eighth and allowed an unearned run. Travis Snider reached on an error by Podsednik in center with one out and Kelly Johnson followed that with a double to right that scored Snider. Contreras got the next two batters, dropping his ERA to 27.00 after two outings and 1 1/3 official innings.
The Phillies got one hit, a single by Ruiz, and two walks (Nix and Mayberry) over five shutout innings by Brandon Morrow. Ruiz was 2-for-3 on the day, upping his average to .478. Mayberry 1-for-2 with a walk to up his line to 224/283/306 in 49 at-bats.
Podsednik 0-for-1 with an error. Pierre 0-for-3 with a pickoff/caught stealing and left five men on base. His average is down to .257. He has stolen two bases this spring and been caught three times.
Galvis started at second and hit eighth, going 0-for-3 to drop his average to .255.
Miguel Abreu played three innings defensively at short, handling one grounder and going 0-for-1. He’s 1-for-3 with a single and an RBI at the plate so far. Just about anybody who can play short warrants attention for the Phils, but Abreu probably doesn’t have the bat to help the team no matter what he can do defensively. Abreu has a career 265/293/382 line in 2,811 minor league plate appearances. That’s not real inspiring, but he does top Freddy Galvis in all three categories (246/292/321 for Galvis). I’d say there’s just about no chance for Abreu, but it’s not that kind of thing anymore when it comes to middle infielders for the Phillies. Abreu and Galvis were born on the same day, November 14, with Abreu born five years earlier.
Abreu is also not a shortstop. He has primarily been a second baseman in the minors, making just four appearances at short over the 711 minor league games he has appeared in.
The Phillies play the Yankees this afternoon with Worley expected to pitch.
This suggests that Polanco could be back in the lineup within a few days.
The article linked above says that Thome played seven innings in a minor league game yesterday and things went well.