How's this for a starting infield: Laynce Nix, first base; Pete Orr, third base; Freddy Galvis, second base; Miguel Abreu, shortstop.
Beerleaguer: Indeed, and if you're like me, you're wondering "Who is Miguel Abreu?" He's appeared several times this spring late in ballgames, smacking a deep double in Friday's loss. I assumed he was just another errand boy like Troy Hanzawa summoned to pinch run for Jim Thome and the like. And that's 100 percent true, but it turns out that Abreu is brand new to the Phillies' organization. He signed as a minor league free agent earlier this month after spending seven seasons in the Baltimore farm system.
The strangest part is that Abreu has only played shortstop, at the minor league level, four times, which makes him a pro next to Galvis, who has never registered a game at second in his minor league career. Crazy how that works out. It brings to mind those two games when Joe Thurston started in left field in place of a struggling Pat Burrell twice in late 2006. Thurston landed the temporary gig after Charlie Manuel was impressed by how Thurston shagged down balls during warm-ups. In any event, Abreu, like uber-utilityman Tim Kennelly, is up because of all the infield attrition. He's a .265/.293/.382 hitter with most of his time coming at single-A.
In other news, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Vance Worley will pitch the opening series in Pittsburgh, setting up Cole Hamels to pitch the home opener. Meanwhile, CSNPhilly.com is reporting that Chase Utley returned to Clearwater Friday, albeit briefly. … Finally, Twitter reports say Jim Thome will get his first chance to start at first base in a Grapefruit League game tomorrow.
Pierre has edge? Todd Zolecki suggests that Juan Pierre may have the edge over Scott Podsednik in the fifth outfielder race. He also lists Lou Montanez as a candidate; he's had a good spring and bats from the right side.
Lineups: Aside from the infield, the rest of the Phillies' lineup isn't quite as skeletal. Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Carlos Ruiz, John Mayberry and Pierre (DH) are also in the lineup. Hamels starts. First pitch is 1:35 ET.