Not a whole heck of a lot going on down here in Clearwater right now. The Phillies will finally play a game on Thursday against Florida State before opening their Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday against the Yankees in Tampa.
Yesterday was Day One of live batting practice, which means today is Day Two, which really doesn't mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. But there is one interesting match-up you might keep your eye on if you wander down this way. On the mound, a left-handed gun-slinger from the Great State of Arkansas. At the plate, a left-handed slugger from the streets of Pasadena. Cliff Lee. Chase Utley. A battle to the death.
I might be over-hyping that just a tad. Whatever it takes to get through a day, right? In reality, live batting practice is heavy on the practice and light on the batting. Yesterday, most veterans used the sessions to track pitches. Swings were few and far between. Live 11-on-11's this wasn't.
But if you are interested in this sort of thing, here are the match-ups for this session, as best as I could decipher from the bulletin board in the Phillies clubhouse.
-Cliff Lee, Brian Schlitter, J.C. Romero against Raul Ibanez, Jeff Larish, Matt Miller, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz
-Joe Blanton, Jose Contreras, J.C. Ramirez against Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr., Matt Rizzotti, Wilson Valdez, Brandon Moss
-Kyle Kendrick, Vance Wolrey, Dan Meyer against Ben Francisco , Tagg Bozied, Michael Martinez, Jimmy Rollins, Harold Garcia
-Roy Oswalt, Ryan Madson, Danys Baez against Domonic Brown, Ross Gload, Placido Polanco, Pete Orr, Josh Barfield.
So many options, so little time. Who should I watch for Session 1: Lee against Ibanez and Utley? Maybe Oswalt against Domonic Brown and Polanco?
I'm leaning toward Lee is Session 1, Worley in Session Two, and Baez in Session Three.
Feel free to pass along your suggestions. Because, obviously, I have some time to kill.
Former Phillie Paul Bako is in da house today, reppin' the Marucci Bat Company. Appears to be in fine physical shape. Looks like he could still go out and hit .224 for the Phils, as he did in 44 games in 2009.