Reliever Matt Anderson, who was supposed to be in minor league camp, made his Phillies debut this afternoon, pitched a perfect eighth and reportedly reached 96 on the gun.
Beerleaguer: I gotta say, it's really interesting that Anderson, the first pick overall in the 1997 draft, worked himself into an audition this early in spring, and it becomes even more intriguing that he pitched so impressively today. Even though he's been out of the Majors since 2005, there's something about this guy that excites me. Here's a snippet from Jerry Crasnick's overlooked ESPN.com piece on Anderson from back in January. Tell me if you don't feel the same after reading this:
"Anderson didn't take the mound until early December, but his velocity quickly crept into the 90-94 mph range, and he even popped a few fastballs at 96 and 97. Each time Del Unser saw him, he kept coming back to his Phillies superiors with encouraging reports. 'I was going to parade Matt in front of all 30 teams,' agent Joe Longo said, 'but right away he said 'Try to focus on the Phillies. This team has a real chance to win a World Series, and I know I can help and I want to be part of that.' I started listing the other people in the Phillies' bullpen and he said 'I don't care.' That's what I love about Matt. He's not afraid of going in to compete.' "
Phillies 6, Blue Jays 3: Roy Halladay pitched a pair of scoreless frames, while Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz combined to knock in four runs as the Phillies capitalized on five Blue Jays errors en route to a 6-3 victory. Otherwise, it was a quiet afternoon offensively. Domonic Brown went 0-for-4 and has failed to register a hit in three games. Pitching-wise, right-handed prospect J.C. Ramirez struck out four in two innings, while Mike Stutes fanned three in his two innings. Cliff Lee and the Phillies host the Tigers tomorrow at Bright House Field.