The weeks before Grapefruit League games officially start are some of the longest on the baseball calendar. While it’s always entertaining to watch pitchers practice their sliding, there is no substitute for actual pitchers pitchting to actual hitters with people keeping actual score.
That said, there was some news out of Clearwater this week affecting the young Phils down on the Pharm.
First, the bad news. Right-hander Justin De Fratus, who many expected to compete for a job in the bullpen this spring, had a setback this week, experiencing pain in his right elbow. De Fratus said he first noticed the elbow pain while throwing back in January, but also said it was no big deal. No MRI has been scheduled yet, which is a good sign. In an interview this week, De Fratus downplayed the soreness…
“My elbow is still a little sore and we’re really just trying to play it on the safe side right now. We just want to take it slow and really make sure that it’s ready to go. We don’t feel that it’s anything serious and there’s no reason to rush it right now being that it’s February. Trying to catch something before it gets too bad. I am doing everything full go, aside from throwing. I am doing arm exercises every morning in the trainer’s room, getting everything going with the team and far as stretching and conditioning, and doing (pitchers fielding practice). Aside from the long toss part, I am fully involved and I’m part of all the team drills.”
The other big young name in camp is young lefty sidewinder Jake Diekman, who the Phils think enough of to include on their 40-man roster. Pitching Coach Rich Dubee said on Monday that he was impressed by Diekman’s arm, saying his fastball was better than that of Antonio Bastardo’s, although Diekman needs work on his secondary pitches, namely his change-up and slider. Still, Dubee appears to have taken a shine to the young man, and based on his numbers in Reading last year you can see why (lefties hit .099 with 40 strikeouts in 91 at-bats against him last year). He’s an intriguing talent, one that Dubee and the rest of the big-league staff is just drooling over.
Young Freddy Galvis, shortstop of the future (Philadelphia’s or elsewhere) took to Twitter this week. And while most of Freddy’s tweets are in spanish, and because I have absolutely no ability to speak a foreign language, much of what he writes is gobbledygook in my eyes. However, he did write one that I was able to read this week…
In usa all ready.. new year..new goals..
— freddy galvis (@toco13fg) February 22, 2012
Michael Schwimmer took to Twitter to compliment Michael Stute’s stylish ‘do…
— michael schwimer (@mschwimer) February 23, 2012
Now, from Jew ‘fro to news concerning the Gentiles, De Fratus took to Twitter this week, despite his sore pitching elbow, to declare his love for a certain Christian rock band…
“Words In The Water” by Thrice might be the most powerful song Ive ever heard. We can’t be perfect. But we are saved. @DMKensrue
— Justin De Fratus (@JustinDeFratus) February 24, 2012
It’s good to know top prospect Trevor May likes to flex his political muscles, even if he isn’t too satisfied with the republican field this year…
Just hanging out watching the Arizona GOP debate. its like watching Old Man Jersey Shore.
— Trevor May (@Trevmay54) February 24, 2012
Oh, and have you checked out the latest from DJ Hey Beef, May’s alter ego?…
— Trevor May (@Trevmay54) February 27, 2012
And oddly, outfield prospect Jiwan James has a celebrity encounter dream that escapes rational understanding…
— JiwanJames (@Jiwan23) February 28, 2012
Nikki Minaj? Really? To each their own I guess.
Tune in next week when Jiwan tweets about his lunch date with the fair and delicate Nikki.