Spring training preview: Phillies players to watch

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins
Darin Ruf channeled his inner Roy Hobbs at the end of last season. Will that carry over into 2013 and earn him an every day spot?

 

Phillies fans know all too well all that could go wrong this season. Are Roy Halladay’s days as an ace over due to a very high odometer? Will Chase Utley play during the first half of the season? Can Ryan Howard post big numbers again? There is considerable worry about the veterans, but could there be some pleasant surprises for Charlie Manuel?

1. Is Darin Ruf for real?

Prior to last August, Ruf showed only occasional pop before turning into Roy Hobbs for the last two months of the season. During the last week of the season, Charlie Manuel expressed doubts, but Ruf is going to get a shot to show what he has — and there are vacant jobs to win in the outfield.

2. Could Kyle Simon make the team?

This would be quite a story since Simon was floundering in the Orioles’ organization as a minor-league starter before he was a throw-in when the Phils dealt Jim Thome to Baltimore last June. Simon was exceptional in Clearwater after being converted to a reliever. Simon, a prospect the Phillies are very high on, was terrific in Reading, too. If he doesn’t make the final roster, keep an eye on him in the minors.

3. Can Erik Kratz hit for consistent power?

Kratz was a revelation during the last two months of the 2012 season. He’s not Chooch behind the plate, then again who is? No matter what Kratz does, he’s a big upgrade over Brian Schneider. Expect production from Kratz, especially for the first 25 games when Chooch is serving his suspension.

4. If Utley has issues, will the Phillies add another infielder?

Could Ruben Amaro, Jr. call unsigned free agent Ryan Theriot? There is a chance as time passes that Theriot could be had for a minor-league deal. ‘The Riot’ is arguably a better choice to start at second base than Kevin Frandsen or Freddy Galvis. Theriot is a clutch hitter, a winner and a tremendous clubhouse guy. He also told Metro that he would love to play for Manuel.

5. Can Adam Morgan or Jonathan Pettibone emerge if Kyle Kendrick or John Lannan struggle?

You can never have enough starting pitching. Just ask the Red Sox, who gave up Bronson Arroyo for Willy Mo Pena after the 2005 season. Arroyo is a solid starter and whatever happened to Willy Mo? Considering how long the season is, the odds are that Morgan or Pettibone will get a chance to pitch in the ace-laden rotation.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

Gossip

Blake Lively's pregnancy cravings are too weird to…

Find out what Blake Lively is rumored to send husband Ryan Reynolds to the store for.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…