Jonathan Papelbon, Dontrelle Willis, Chad Qualls and Jim Thome are among the off-season additions making their first appearances with the Phillies this afternoon as the Grapefruit League, and Beerleaguer chat schedule, begins against the Yankees at Bright House Field. First pitch is 1 p.m. ET with the game set to air on Comcast SportsNet. Cole Hamels and Ivan Nova are the scheduled starters. Lineups are posted: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Pence RF, Thome DH, Wigginton 3B, Mayberry 1B, Brown LF, Kratz C, Martinez 2B. Raul Ibanez makes his Yankees debut and hits fifth.
Beerleaguer: The first televised game of spring marks one of true highlights of the baseball calendar, and for this Phillies team, it’s a chance for a new beginning. That’s also true for guys like Papelbon, who starts fresh in the National League and is one of the focal points of today’s contest. Meanwhile, for veterans like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz, this month will serve a different purpose, one of pace and preparedness. And then there’s Thome, who’s pulling out all the stops - first baseman’s glove and all - for one last run at a World Series.
As spring trainings go, it's one of the more compelling. And cheers to the start of another great season on Beerleaguer.