Sunday marked the darkest day of spring so far. Roy Halladay and company are hoping to brighten spirits today against the Blue Jays.
Preview: With news of Chase Utley’s knee, Domonic Brown’s 0-for-3 and a pair of rocky debuts by Justin De Fratus and Michael Schwimer, the Phillies experienced their first reality check of spring yesterday. Good thing there are 31 days until the games actually count. ... For the Jays, familiar left-hander and former Brave Jo-Jo Reyes will start in place of former Phillie Kyle Drabek, who was pushed back because of a stiff neck. … After two games, outfielder Ben Francisco has been the Phillies’ standout performer, going 2-for-4 with a double and homer in yesterday’s 7-3 loss. He also tripled in Saturday’s opener. Still, Charlie Manuel has been hesitant to heap much praise on him. "He swung pretty good," Manuel told MLB.com. "He's been practicing hard. I've noticed him hitting. He comes in wanting to play. He knows he's got a chance to play more than he did last year or win a job." (Does anyone else get a sense they don't completely believe in him?). Still, barring a catastrophic finish, expect to see Francisco earn at least a share of right field against left-handed pitching, against which he hit .284/.344/.557 a season ago. … Lineups are posted: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Francisco DH, Mayberry 1B, Brown RF, Young LF, Ruiz C, Valdez 2B. Halladay P. Of note, Mayberry is making his debut at first for the Phils. He’s played in only four games there in his career, dating back to his days with Triple-A Oklahoma. ... The game will air on MLB radio starting at 1:00.