The Phillies speed- burn brothers Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Phillies with leg injuries- gimp gang Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. The top of the lineup went from DSL to dial-up in a matter of a week and that's a bummer. Rollins is expected to be held out of the game again today in lieu of his left ankle sprain and Vic has already been placed on the 15-day DL with a right calf strain. Both are emotional leaders on the field and in the clubhouse and play with a high level of energy that is infectious, so when you take their livelihood away (legs) that's a bad thing for speedsters like them. He's got legs, and he knows how to use them. I'm worried about the long-term effect these injuries will have on Rollins and Vic, but only time with tell. Until that time, the ugly bearded bastard Eric Bruntlett continues to fill-in for Jimmy and Aussie Chris Snelling has been called up from Triple A to take Vic's roster spot with Jayson Werth and So Taguchi sharing CF now.
Cole Hamels continued his season of dominance last night against the Cubbies and lowered his era and whip to 0.82, while going 7 fantastic innings allowing only 1 hit. I'm going out on a limb here (a big-ass sturdy limb) and suggesting if he continues with this type of performance he'll win 20 games. Struggling batters Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz each went deep for 2-run shots, and Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, and Jayson Werth picked up 2 hits apiece to keep the offense chugging along.
*Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs have begun their inaugural season with a dud, dropping to 0-10 on in the Triple A season. Lil' Piggy fans haven't had much to cheer about aside from starting pitcher Ron Chiavacci's 0.79 era in 2 games. Note- recalled Chris Snelling was batting a measly .231.
*Reading Phillies have some hot bats: Mike Spidale, Joey Hammond, Greg Golson, Jeremy Slayden, Jason Donald, and Lou Marson are all batting over .300. Former 1st round pick Golson is finally putting it all together and is impressing scouts while racking up 7 steals through 9 games. Model Dictator Fabio Castro has hurled some gems with a 0.75 era through 2 starts and prospect Joshua Outman has pitched well too. Note- keep an eye on the crafty lefty former Independent Leaguer RJ Swindle, I predict we see him with the big Phillies come season's end.
*Clearwater Threshers prospect Adrian Cardenas is batting .390 and teammate Matthew Spencer .333. In the pitching department: last year's 1st round pick Joe Savery has a 1.50 era and Antonio Bastardo (awesome last name!) and Carlos Monasterios (from Abreu trade) are doing well in the starting rotation too.
*Lakewood BlueClaws firstbaseman Mike Durant has started off on fire clubbing 3 homeruns with a 1.130 OPS and outfielder Matt Spencer is batting .364. Pitchers Tyson Brummett, Yen-Feng Lin, and Moises Melendez have been the standouts on the BlueClaw staff.