Monday, April 4, 2016

One Day To Go!

GAME RECAP: No Game Yesterday!
The Phillies take the day to reflect on a successful spring and prepare for a long regular season. Of course, it is not too early to make plans for the postseason (i.e. where to watch the games).

Veteran right-hander Jeremy Hellickson will make the first Opening Day start of his career Monday when the Phillies play the Reds at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET. "It's definitely going to be different," Hellickson said. "The emotions are going to be high. The atmosphere is going to be crazy. The adrenaline is going to be flowing, and I'm going to be really excited. I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I'm looking forward to it." Outfielder Cedric Hunter, 28, is expected to make his first big league start after coming to camp as a non-roster player.

First And Last - The Phillies called Veterans Stadium home for over thirty years beginning on this day in 1971 when it was officially dedicated. And when Jim Bunning threw out the final opening day first ball on this day in 2003, Chase Utley was on the roster for the first time. While there were coountless debuts after on this day such as Kenny Lofton in 2005 and Jayson Werth in 2007, the latter years of the Vet were marked by the promise of young talent such as Eric Valent and the actualization of talent like that of Scott Rolen both of whom were born on this day. Another home grown talent, Ryan Howard, never played at the Vet but did spend some time in Scranton during his career when he made a guest appearance on The Office in an episode that aired on this day in 2013. 

The Phillies finished the spring exceeding most expectations compiling a record of 15-11-3 (18-11-3 if you include the exhibition games against Reading and the University of Tampa). I expect the Phillies to finish in the bottom half of the division but not last in the NL East by finishing the season with a 77-85 record. Let the rebuild begin!

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