Wison Valdez started at second base today for the Philadelphia Phillies. Seeing that Wilson Valdez has the ability to play second base and is on the roster for the Phillies, this is hardly a shock. Earlier this week, the Phillies admitted that their all-star second baseman may be out for a little longer than the initial diagnosis of “sore legs” would leave you to believe by signing recently released second baseman Luis Castillo. There were several reports questioning Castillo’s attitude and his relationship with the new Mets manager Terry Collins. Apparently, Castillo wanted to make a good impression on his new team/fan-base by not showing up to his first opportunity when he was penciled in as the starter at second base. Valdez went 1-4 with an RBI. Castillo was… God only knows what’s going on in his head.
The Phillies ran out Cliff Lee to face Toronto’s promising young starter Ricky Romero in a battle of left handed starters. Romero’s nickname is listed on his baseball reference page as RR Cool Jay. Do you think that he actually wants people to call him that? Romero is an up and coming pitcher with a God awful nickname.
Lee has been human in his last few grapefruit league starts. He righted the ship today by going six innings allowing four hits and two runs. He walked two, proving that he is not completely on point, but a start like this should back the alarmists away from the ledge.
The Phillies jumped on Romero early in the game with back to back singles by Howard and Francisco followed by a three run home run by Raul Ibanez. Reports vary as to the effect that Romero’s nickname had on the ability of the Phillies offense to rattle the young left hander. Michael Martinez singled to score Josh Barfield in the second inning to close the scoring on Romero. It is always encouraging to see the Phils score some runs off of a tough left handed pitcher. There were times last year when the team could not figure out even marginal left handed pitching.
In the ninth inning, Danys Baez earned the save by allowing four hits and two runs leaving the final score 5-4. How the hell did this guy ever save 41 games? There are some mysteries that may never be solved.
After Charlie Manual called out all of the competitors for the right field job, Ben Francisco went 3-3 with a run scored today. Charlie stated that no one has stepped up, but it appears that Benny Fresh has done just that.
It was also nice to see Raul hit the ball hard today. He will be counted on to help ease the loss of Utley and it would make us all feel better if we got early 2009 Raul in lieu of the early 2010 version.
Next up for the Phils Roy Oswalt takes on the Tampa Bay Rays. Perhaps Luis Castillo will make an appearance. I am extremely unsure if this can end anything but badly. It will be really embarrassing for a former all star player to be release before he even gets to prove how average he truly has become.