Joe Blanton, the recipient of a three-year, $24 million contract extension, makes his first Grapefruit League appearance today when the Phillies visit the Pirates starting at 1:05 p.m.
Preview: The Phillies must be happy with what they've seen so far from their starting rotation, including Jamie Moyer, who pitched an effortless three-inning shutout in yesterday's "B" game against the Jays. Moyer's quick return from three offseason surgeries should set up a heated battle between the 47-year-old and Kyle Kendrick for the fifth starter spot this spring. Like many of his rotation compadres, Blanton arrived in better shape this spring as he prepares for a season as the Phillies' No. 3 starter. Danys Baez and Mike Zagurski are also slated to throw today, according to Ryan Lawrence of the Delco Times.
Taking the field behind him will be 19-year-old Freddy Galvis, starting at shortstop. Baseball America has compared the young gloveman to fellow Venezuelan Cesar Izturis. The Phillies believe that his offensive game will eventually thrive, citing a balanced swing and terrific hand-eye coordination. Galvis lost a couple of months of development last season recovering from a broken hand. There's little doubt about his glove and instincts. The Phillies used him at second base the other day.
The lineup has been posted: Wise (CF), Dobbs (3B), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Ibanez (LF), Brown (RF), Mayberry (DH), Ruiz (C) and Galvis (SS). With Shane Victorino still nursing a sore shoulder, Charlie Manuel will get his first real look at Dewayne Wise, a defensive specialist who was signed earlier this offseason.