Cliff Lee on track for opening day, Larry Bowa a bright spot

Cliff Lee has looked like himself during spring training, and expects to be on the mound when the Phillies open their season against the Rangers on March 31. Credit: Getty Images
Cliff Lee has looked like himself during spring training, and expects to be on the mound when the Phillies open their season against the Rangers on March 31. Credit: Getty Images

Cliff Lee gave up a pair of runs on three hits and struck out five in three and two-thirds against Atlanta. Lee has good command and velocity.

“My goal is to be ready when we play the Texas Rangers (the Phillies season opener on May 31),” Lee said. “I’ve felt good since I’ve come down here.”

Lee is one player the Phillies don’t have to worry about. He looks ready to go.

“That’s what you expect from Cliff Lee,” A.J. Burnett said. “I’ve always admired him when I was in the other dugout. He’s a tremendous pitcher. I look back at what he did for the Phillies during the 2009 World Series when I was with the Yankees. He was great. He looks like the same guy he was five years ago.”

Cole Hamels did get good news Monday as well, the team announcing he will throw again on Wednesday.

Larry Bowa a fond face in camp

Larry Bowa is one of the bright spots in the Phillies camp. When the veteran coach isn’t schooling Maikel Franco on the art of fielding, he’s holding court with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins.

“I love being around these guys,” Bowa said. “It’s not just that they are great players. They’re great people. Jimmy is like my son. We all get along great. You don’t have to worry about chemistry with this team.”

That’s especially so with Bowa around since the fiery and chatty former shortstop complements reserved manager Ryne Sandberg so well.

“I think I’m a good fit for this team,” Bowa said. “This job was an ideal fit or I wouldn’t have left my job (as an analyst for MLB.) I made the right decision. It’s great to be here.”


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