No, Charlie Manuel hasn’t joined Twitter, but ESPN's Jayson Stark tracked down the Phillies skipper and tweeted his fears heading into the season.
Manuel told Stark that he’s “concerned about right field,” particularly the defensive end of it, but it isn't stopping him from “strongly considering” playing Ross Gload in right a few times a week; Gload has had a good spring swinging the stick, but is not the greatest fielder. Manuel also hinted that he’s worried about an offense that will be without Jayson Werth and Chase Utley to start. Manuel also didn’t give a ringing endorsement to the non-roster and young players vying for spots, mentioning that none of them put up big numbers in the minor leagues last season.
Beerleaguer: Quite honestly, the lineup could use more Gload the way it projects for Opening Day. If Gload starts in right against Brett Myers April 1, I’m perfectly fine with it. In the words of Larry Andersen, Gload can “flat-out hit,” which I transcribe as a guy who'll give you a good, professional at bat and make solid contact.
But back to the topic at hand, this fear of the unknown. Take it with a grain of salt. I have no idea what Spring Training means to a veteran squad like this one. Cliff Lee has quietly had a bad spring, and who gives a crap. Utley’s going to be out for a long time, and it’s a problem. Werth is irreplaceable. We already knew that. They'll need a career year from someone (Francisco) to pick up the slack. But everything else seems fairly standard. Doesn’t Brad Lidge pitch through soreness every spring? Placido Polanco will be fine. And if things get too bad in any one area, they’ll deal with it then. The time to worry is not March 18.
Castillo: Count me among those who believe the Phillies will strongly consider recently released second baseman Luis Castillo for his experience and situational strengths alone. Delwyn Young, Josh Barfield and Pete Orr can be sent down to Triple-A and their flaws will be easily exposed once the games count. Castillo, 35, has appeared in over 1,700 games, and there’s something to be said for that when you’re trying to round out a winner.
Gosewisch lifts Phils past Pirates: Tuffy Gosewisch’s two-out, walk-off single in the ninth scored the tying and winning runs of the game as the Phillies topped the Pirates 3-2 at Bright House Field. Pete Orr was 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored and Ryan Howard added two hits and a double as the Phils bagged their ninth Grapefruit League win in ten tries. Roy Oswalt worked six solid innings, allowing two runs (both unearned) on five hits while striking out five and walking none. Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson each contributed scoreless innings.