Another night game
Eleven more games of spring training nature and then the regular season starts. It breaks down to nine games in sunny Florida and two On-Deck Series games in sunny Philadelphia, March 30-31, against the Red Sox. So much for a commercial message.
Another night game is on tap for today, so the players didn’t have to report until 3:30 p.m. Since Dunedin is just three miles north of Bright House Networks Field, the Phillies will take batting practice here and then board a 5:30 bus.
A pair of outfielders, Jayson Werth and Aaron Rowand, were at the park early. Werth was the DH for the Phillies AAA and AA teams, who were playing their counterparts with the Yankees at Carpenter Field. Werth led off every inning on one field, hustled over the another field and hit. Overall, he was 6-13 for the afternoon. The idea was to get as many at-bats against live pitching as possible.
Both the Phillies and Yankees also had a AA game at Carpenter. With the Phillies playing tonight, Carpenter Field was packed with fans. Admission is free.
Also playing at Carpenter were the Gildea Raiders from Wilmington, DE. The semi-pro team spends a couple of weeks in Florida playing games in various minor league camps.
If you are a baseball fan and the Phillies aren’t playing in Clearwater that particular day, there are always two 1 p.m. games at Carpenter Field through this month.
Rowand arrived around 1 p.m. and spent a long time taking extra batting practice in one of the Bright House Networks Field indoor batting cages. The pitcher? Charlie Manuel.
A little more than an hour later, Karim Garcia, an outfielder, was taking ground balls at first base from coach Steve Smith on the half-field at the park. No, Ryan Howard is coming out of the lineup. Just a chance to see how versatile Garcia can be. Versatility is very important off the bench.