Phans and media alike are fairly excited about the Phillies' Grapefruit League match up on Thursday. The Houston Astros are slated to start Brett Myers, while the Phillies plan to start Kyle Kendrick. That's a comical pitching match up for those who recall the famous prank that Myers once pulled on a young Kendrick during spring training.
Roy Halladay is scheduled to pitch on Thursday also, but will compete in a minor league game instead of against Houston. There is simple reasoning behind that. The regular season schedule pits the Astros and Phillies against one another during the first week of the season, so rather than give Houston hitters opportunities to see Halladay and get used to his pitches before it counts, they are keeping Roy under wraps. The decision could also be telling as to where the team is leaning with the 5th starter, or their intentions to use the 5th starter in that first week or not, if the Phils aren't shy about the Astros seeing Kendrick.
Carlos Ruiz was a late scratch from the lineup on Monday, when his substitute Dane Sardinha smashed two homers against the Yankees. Ruiz missed another game on Tuesday, but is expected to start against the Braves on Wednesday. He's been suffering with a flu bug. Third base coach Sam Perlozzo has missed some time with the same illness.
Raul Ibanez is batting .114 (4-for-35) in Grapefruit League games this spring. Among his 4 hits are 2 doubles and a homer. Greg Dobbs is batting .345 (19-for-29) in Grapefruit League action with 5 doubles and 1 homerun.
Authentic Citizens Bank Park sod is available for purchase, as the Phillies have replaced their entire playing surface. Have a look at the selection here.
It is once again PhoulBallz Phillies Wednesday on The Shore Sports Report. Check out Joe & Mike each weekday from 3-6pm on Fox Sports 1310am and WOBM AM 1160 in New Jersey or listen online here. I'll be on the show this afternoon around 4:05pm.
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