ESPN on tap

While the team hopped aboard the bus at 3:15 this afternoon for a 30-minute trip east to Tampa to take on the Yankees tonight, a small group of players remained in Clearwater.

Lakewood BlueClaws athletic trainer Ichiro Kitano put the small group (six pitchers and Chris Coste) through a series of exercises and jogging at Bright House Networks Field.  Coste, nursing a sore right hamstring, took ground balls at third base on the half-field and then served as the first baseman as Tom Gordon worked on fielding ground balls.

Before calling it a day, Coste went into the batting cage and hit off an iron mike machine.  Joe Bisenius and Matt Smith spent time in the weight room.

Cole Hamels, working on mechanics, pitched in a minor league game in the afternoon at the Devil Rays’ minor league camp.  Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro, Charlie Kerfeld and Rich Dubee were there to observe.  They then headed for Tampa.

Tomorrow is another night game, this one in Dunedin, the best spring training trip for the Phillies: three miles.

The Phillies are back home Thursday afternoon (Boston) and Friday afternoon (Atlanta).  Both games will be televised by ESPN.  The broadcasting crew will be Gary Thorne, Buck Martinez and John Kruk.  It is the first ESPN telecast in Clearwater since 1995.

Both games will also be broadcast on phillies.com.

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