Thursday, April 06, 2006

Game Three Preview

The Phillies and the Cardinals wrap up their 3-game series today at 3:05 (about 10 minutes ago or so actually, top of the first is over...still 0-0) as Cory Lidle faces off against Jason Marquis. I thought the Phillies were going to pound Mulder and the Cards last night, so I'll just keep my mouth shut when it comes to big predictions this afternoon. How about this...Jimmy Rollins gets his only hit in the sixth inning, Cory Lidle has the best day (by far) of any Phillies starter yet (not saying much, but he'll be good anyway), and Chase Utley hits a big homerun late. My random predictions weren't all bad yesterday...right about Rollins, wrong about Burrell...hopefully today's are even better. On to some news...

From today's Inquirer:

Manuel said he wasn't sure who will be at third today: Bell, Nuñez or Alex Gonzalez...Manuel said he expected catcher Sal Fasano to start once or twice a week. He could start today.

"I don't know yet. I don't want to overload this real smart brain I've got," he joked.

His gameday management is still impossibly bad, but it's hard not to like him on a personal level. For the record, it's Bell starting at third (hitting 7th) and Lieberthal behind the plate (batting 8th). If Fasano gets an at bat today, he'll hit a homerun. Bonus prediction right there.

The Phillies claimed infielder Angel Chavez, 24, off waivers from the San Francisco Giants and placed him on their 40-man roster. Chavez hit .263 in 10 games with the Giants last season. He will open the season in double-A Reading.

Not too much to say on this particular addition for the moment, but today is Opening Day in the minor leagues and this felt like a solid way to transition and talk about the Opening Day matchup in Clearwater today: LHP Cole Hamels vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (rehabbing). Another Phillies top prospect, Scott Mathieson is on the mound for Reading today in their opener against Bowie. Things might get a little minor league centered in this space shortly...seems like an interesting angle to write about for a bit. We'll see...

From today's Washington Post:

One source close to Mora said he would welcome the opportunity to play for the Philadelphia Phillies if they came calling. Not only are the Phillies located close to Baltimore, Mora would be playing alongside Bobby Abreu, one of his best friends in baseball.

Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora has been in the headlines lately for his ongoing contract extenstion talks with his ballclub. It is believed he is looking for a 3-year deal worth between $8 and $9 million annually; the best offer the club has come up with has reportedly been a 3-year deal worth a total of $25 million. For those prices, teams would be wise to stay away. Perhaps Mora would take a 2-year deal if he really wants to come to Philly so badly...this is a long-term situation to watch, but a situation to watch nonetheless.


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