News landed on the Phillies world on Monday that JC Romero, who had off-season elbow tendon surgery, would not be ready for opening day, and that Romero was now hoping to be ready for the Phillies' first homestand in the second week of the season. Romero does not expect to face live batters until March 22nd.
Speaking to the media, Romero said, "I want to break camp with the team, but I realize that time is against me. That's not good, but I'm very optimistic about being with the team by the first homestand."
The Romero setback frees up an extra spot for those pitchers in camp battling for a place with the big club. Guys on the bubble for two open spots include Dave Herndon, a Rule 5 pick from the Angels, who would have to be offered back to Anaheim if he doesn't make the 25-man opening day roster. Also up for a spot are Scott Mathieson, Sergio Escalona, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Zagurski and whichever of the two men competing for the 5th starter spot (Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer) doesn't get a spot in the rotation.
Shane Victorino is slated to play in his first Grapefruit League game on Tuesday evening. On Monday, Shane told Comcast Sportsnet that he is improving. "Everything feels great. Things have come along accordingly. I still gotta keep working on the shoulder, but I feel like I am ready to go", Victorino told the local sports station. Phans in the Philadelphia area can catch Tuesday's matchup with the Braves live on MLB Network at 7pm. Roy Halladay is scheduled to start for the Phils and former Phillie Billy Wagner is on tap to pitch in relief for the Braves.
Jose Contreras really struggled against the Yankees on Monday. In the 7-5 loss, the veteran right-hander gave up 6 earned runs in 1 2/3 innings on 3 walks, 6 hits and a wild pitch. The lengthy 5th inning was extended on a play in which Placido Polanco displayed his rust at 3rd base again, by taking his time fielding a sacrifice bunt that the runner beat out safely at first base. While it was not scored as an error, and won't show up in the box score as a mistake by Polanco, rest assured that PhoulBallz is keeping score and that was Polanco's third misplay in 4 games this spring.
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