You didn't think the Chicago White Sox traded an ace pitcher for Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez, did you? No chance.
Right-hander Freddy Garcia left last night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays with tightness in his right biceps, after surrendering five hits, one walk and one home run in the first. He hasn't looked fresh all spring.
Moving from bad situation to bad situation, catcher Carlos Ruiz has a strained right shoulder, an ongoing problem dating back to 2005. In today's reports, manager Charlie Manuel expressed legitimate concern. His replacement, presumably Chris Coste, has also been sidelined with a nagging hammy.
And moving from bad situation to an awkward one, Jon Lieber was demoted to the bullpen yesterday, resulting in some rather scathing discontent in the press. Today, he'll likely receive news he's back in the fray. Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News indicated it's hard to imagine how Garcia won't start the season on the shelf.
The cherry on top is closer Tom Gordon, who's barely pitched this spring, hit Sal Fasano with a wild pitch and was all over the place in yesterday's game. It's to the point where every time I see Gordon's name in a report, I cringe.
So let's celebrate the majesty of Phillies Spring Training 2007:
-- The guy they expected to anchor the rotation is hurt.
-- Most of their catchers are hurt.
-- The bullpen may be even worse than expected. The Phillies have done nothing to improve it.
-- Tom Gordon looks toasted.
-- The magic has run out on Dominican League sensations Antonio Alfonseca and Fabio Castro.
-- Batters have buttered Matt Smith, the team's top left-handed reliever.
-- Cole Hamels has been rough. Minor concern, among these others.
-- The window to make trades is closing, not that the Phils have any leverage left.
-- Garcia, if inoperable, continues the trend of Pat Gillick trading for diddly-poo.
-- Ryan Howard is dissatisfied with his swing.
-- Ryan Howard may be dissatisfied with his contract.
-- Jon Lieber is dissatisfied with his situation.
-- Burrell is not showing improvement. One beat writer said the team is concerned.
-- Jimmy Rollins provides bulletin board material for the rest of the division by calling the Phillies the team to beat -- in January.