It's March 20, which means it's Clout Day on Beerleaguer, marking the unofficial date when it's acceptable to draw educated conclusions based on what we've seen so far in Camp Clearwater.
Update (10:50 a.m.): Prior to today's game, the Phillies optioned right-handers Michael Schwimer and Phillippe Aumont to minor league camp and also reassigned left-handers David Purcey and Jeremy Horst.
Beerleaguer: Frankly, Clout Day came early for the Phillies as they've already cut ties with Dontrelle Willis, Joel Pineiro and began the process of preparing Freddy Galvis for second base well over a week ago. There's still a lot to learn about this club, with openings in the bullpen, infield and outfield. The battle to become the second loogy has become an interesting dance between Joe Savery, Raul Valdes, Jake Diekman, and to a lesser extent, David Purcey and Jeremy Horst. The Phillies would need to add Valdes, who has been sharp, to the 40-man roster. Now that Galvis appears to be a lock at second, how will the Phillies fill the utility role? In the outfield, Scott Podsednik has outperformed Juan Pierre, but Pierre's contract situation gives him a logistical edge. We also saw an ESPN report yesterday that the Phils are hunting for a back-up catcher.
Clout Day happens to fall on what is sure to be a heavily scrutinized start by Roy Halladay, who hasn't been nearly as sharp as we're accustomed to seeing. Halladay and the B-Team Phillies travel to Sarasota to face the Orioles today, where the Phillies will also monitor Ty Wigginton (1B) Kevin Frandsen (3B) and Michael Martinez (SS). Each utility man has struggled defensively.