It's March 20*. Time for a round-up of Phillies spring performance.
The good: According to the latest totals, Brett Myers hasn’t walked a batter during Grapefruit League play. He hasn’t allowed a home run, either. Home runs are goofy because the wind can play tricks during spring in Florida, but the walks are a good sign the strike-thrower is in regular-season form. Myers is ready to go, and so is Jamie Moyer.
Catcher Carlos Ruiz, who was a .300 Triple-A hitter for two seasons, is hitting for high average here in March (.407/.485/.505). Chooch is already a nice little surprise who exceeded expectations and projections during his official rookie season, but if his totals can climb just a tad higher, it would be a coup for Charlie Manuel’s offense. Chooch has a chance to assert himself as one of the most complete catchers in the National League this season. From the reports, he's already asserting himself as a handler, which is what every team asks out of their catcher.
Nice spring by No. 6, too.
The bad: Generally, the entire bullpen and 2/5 of the starting rotation have been “bad,” but not quite “ugly," like the players in the next category. That includes Chad Durbin, Tom Gordon, Adam Eaton, Kyle Kendrick and Fabio Castro, who’s no longer in camp. Phillies’ pitching is making their defense work this spring, giving up a ton of hits. Defensively, they’re still working out the kinks.
The ugly: Pedro Feliz has zero walks and a .208 OBP in 48 ABs. It comes as no great surprise to many Beerleaguers, the majority of whom disliked the signing for this very reason. Charlie Manuel has been batting him between fourth and sixth. He needs to be hitting seventh or eighth. Good defense and the occasional homer could come as a high price. Teams get 27 outs to play with. Set aside a couple for "Senor Out."
It’s been an ugly spring for the right-field platoon. While Geoff Jenkins has heated up recently, Jayson Werth and his .179 SLG remains ice cold. In 39 at bats, he doubled once for his lone extra-base hit. He’s tied for the team lead with 13 strikeouts. Regression watch – Werth was one of the luckier Phillies hitters last season.
J.D. Durbin has given up 22 hits and 7 walks in only 12 1-3 innings. It would be a real miracle for the Real Deal to break camp with a spot on the 25-man.
*March 20 is "Clout Day" on Beerleaguer, which marks the official date Hall-of-Fame commentor, Clout, says it's acceptable to assess spring training performance and draw reasonable conclusions.