Observations: Phillies 5, Tigers 5

Observations: Phillies 5, Tigers 5

February 24, 2013, 5:15 pm
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Spring Training TV Schedule

Feb. 26, Yankees at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Feb. 28, Braves at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 3, Blue Jays at Phillies, 1 p.m., CSN

Mar. 5, World Baseball Classic, 1 p.m., CSN

Mar. 6, Nationals at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 7, Twins at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 12, Tigers at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 14, Pirates at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 17, Orioles at Phillies, 1 p.m., CSN

Mar. 19, Yankees at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 22, Braves at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 26, Rays at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 28, Blue Jays at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN

Mar. 29, Blue Jays at Phillies, 7 p.m., TCN

LAKELAND, Fla. – Roy Halladay looked and felt good in his first spring start of 2013 on Sunday (see story).

The Phillies and Detroit Tigers played to a 5-5 tie in 10 innings.

Here are a few observations from the game:

• Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins both made the trip. Howard had a pair of hard-hit doubles to the right side of the field. Rollins singled and scored a run.

Phillies veterans have talked a lot this spring about being focused on getting back to the postseason. It’s not just lip service, according to manager Charlie Manuel.

“Our veterans are really into it,” Manuel said.  “They’ve been really bearing down and thinking it over and everything. Without a doubt.”

• Howard is completely recovered from the torn left Achilles tendon that cost him half of last season. His running gait is still a little rough, but Manuel says it will improve.

“He’s moving OK,” Manuel said. “The more we play him the better he’ll move. I’m going to play him a lot. I want him to be ready.”

Manuel will continue to pick his spots with Chase Utley as he gets his second baseman ready for the season while preserving his knees.

• Domonic Brown hit a laser-beam home run to right in the eighth inning. This is a big spring for Brown, and Manuel likes the way he’s swinging the bat.

“He’s staying back and catching the ball out front,” Manuel said. “The last three days, he’s swung the bat well. He has the potential to be a real good hitter, average and power, as long as he keeps his balance at the plate.”

• Brown is battling for a spot on the opening day roster. The Phils could go a few different ways in their outfield to start the season. They could break with Ben Revere, Laynce Nix, John Mayberry Jr., Darin Ruf and Brown as they wait for Delmon Young to get off the disabled list in mid to late April. It’s also possible that Ruf or Brown could go to Triple A.

In all, there are 10 healthy outfielders in camp. Manuel said he’d like to thin the ranks with about 10 days to go in camp. One player to keep an eye on is Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte, who has impressed team officials with his speed and defense. Enciarte has a walk and a single in two Grapefruit League games.

Ruf is hitless in his first two games, but he will get a long look as the club is hungry for some right-handed pop.

• The Phillies host the Tigers on Monday. Cliff Lee makes his first start of the spring against lefty Drew Smyly.

More Team Talk