Tigers 10, Phillies 1: A few observations

Tigers 10, Phillies 1: A few observations
February 25, 2013, 6:15 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

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Monday was not a good day for Phillies relievers.

Jonathan Papelbon, in his first work of the spring, was tagged for five hits and six runs, three of which came on a long homer over everything in left by Miguel Cabrera.

Papelbon needed 31 pitches to get two outs before departing.

It’s not unusual for a veteran closer to get beat up early in spring training. They are adrenaline junkies who have a tough time getting their fix in exhibition games. Billy Wagner and Ricky Bottalico were both known for having lackluster springs.

Papelbon said he felt fine physically, which was the important thing. He’ll need about eight more outings to be ready for the season, but his place is secure.

The same cannot be said for Mike Stutes. He was a key member of the 'pen in 2011 but missed much of last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery. In this camp, he is competing with a deep field of contestants for what looks like three bullpen openings. In Stutes’ case, there might be only two openings because the Phils are likely to carry Jeremy Horst or Jake Diekman as a second lefty behind Antonio Bastardo.

Stutes, a righty, allowed a hit, two walks and two runs in an inning of work.

It’s probably wise not to read too much into Stutes’ outing. It’s early. It was his first game action in 10 months. He’ll get plenty more chances.

• The addition of right-handed hitting Michael Young gives manager Charlie Manuel the option of batting left-handed hitting Chase Utley second against left-handed pitchers. Manuel experimented with that Monday against Detroit lefty Drew Smyly. Both players were hitless with a walk.

Using Young in the three-hole against lefties allows Manuel to split Utley and Ryan Howard, which could really be a plus against lefty relief specialists late in games.

“I wanted to see how it looked,” Manuel said. “If they bring in a lefty against us, at least they’ll have to face a righty (bat) before they face Howard.”

We asked Utley about batting second last week, and he said he had no problem with it.

Speaking of Howard, he had two hits for the second straight game.

• Yuniesky Betancourt made his second start at shortstop, had a hit, scored a run, and made four plays in the field. He has three hits in his two starts.

Betancourt, in camp on a minor-league deal, is competing with Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen for one of two utility infield spots. Betancourt, who has been a regular at shortstop for three teams, will continue to get looks at shortstop. For one thing, Jimmy Rollins will be exiting camp for Team USA over the weekend. Also, Betancourt has an escape clause in his contract if he is not added to the 40-man roster in the final week of camp, so the team has to make a call on him.

• Cliff Lee had this to say about rotation-mate Roy Halladay: “I feel like he’s going to be the normal Roy Halladay. I think last year, obviously, was an off year for him, and I think sometimes that challenges you and makes you a better player in the end. I think with his competitive nature and his work ethic, that’s definitely incentivized him to come back and show who the real Roy Halladay is, and we’ve seen that for the past 12 years. I expect him to be his normal self.”

• The Phillies host the New York Yankees at Bright House Field on Tuesday. Kyle Kendrick and Jose Ramirez are the starting pitchers. Aaron Cook, Chad Durbin, Zach Miner and Jeremy Horst are also slated to pitch for the Phils.

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