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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.