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
Local

TIPS: How to take great photos during 'Manhattanhenge'

Grab your camera and make the perfect picture this Saturday.

National

Seinfeld emoji cound be available next week

Get your puffy shirts and your marble rye ready, America. Seinfeld emoji could become available as early as next week.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures July 11,…

A block party in Times Square, Bastille Day celebrations and a festival will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend.

Local

Thousands come to pay respects to fallen NYC…

Thousands turned out to say farewell to fallen firefighter Gordon Ambelas at St. Clare’s Church in Staten Island this morning.

Movies

Interview: Matt Reeves on directing 'Dawn of the…

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" director Matt Reeves discusses his love for the franchise, working with actors as apes and the weight of 3-D cameras.

Television

Final season of 'Glee' will be only 13…

The final season of "Glee" will officially be only 13 episodes, instead of the usual 22.

Entertainment

Complex characters, juicy scripts boost Netflix's Emmy nominations

The unconventional approach to TV at Netflix netted 31 Emmy nominations, a major achievement after plunging into original programing just last year.

Entertainment

Actor Josh Duhamel dons bunny suit to encourage…

The former Transformers star and husband to singer Fergie took to the Venice Beach boardwalk in California in a bright pink, Christmas-story inspired bunny suit Wednesday to help spread the…

NFL

Which Jets player has the best odds at…

Metro New York asked Bovada.LV to rank the top three contenders for the NFL MVP on the Jets.

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

MLB

A Joffrey Ballet dancer threw the most beautiful…

http://youtu.be/Hg61JOZJrYM?t=29s While asked to throw a first pitch at a baseball game can be a treacherous and/or embarrassing experience (see Cent, 50), sometimes everything can…

World Cup

World Cup semifinals preview: Holland vs. Argentina

The second semifinal pits another South American soccer power against a European one.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Sexual headaches can be…

Sexual headaches: an under-discussed health issue Location: U.S. Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a…

Food

Head to FiDi for free Chia Pods from…

They may have been last summer's darlings, but chia seeds have definitely not gone out of style. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, they…

Wellbeing

Stop thinking your diabetes risk begins above a…

When it comes to diabetes research, a new study says black and Asian adults may be at risk for developing diabetes at a lower weight…

Food

Christian Siriano inspires Magnum's color-blocked dessert

Christian Siriano, chef Andrew Carmellini and Magnum team up to create "America's Most Fashionable Chocolate Dessert."