Bobby Abreu is no stranger to Clearwater. During his first stint with the Phillies he spent parts of nine preseasons with the team on the west coast of Florida, preparing for the his nine seasons in red and white.
But, at 40-years-old, Abreu has a different mentality in spring training this year. He wants to make the big league club and make the trip up north to Philadelphia.
Abreu helped his cause Thursday, as he drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI-double in a 6-3 win over the Astros in a split-squad game.
Playing the outfield, he also had an assist, throwing out a runner with his arm blazing much like it did when he was a young man, an All-Star for the Phillies and later a key contributor for the Yankees and Angels.
The lefty has stepped up his game recently with the Phillies, tallying six hits in his last five games.
On March 12 against the Orioles, Abreu collected five total bases.
The rest of the offense is hitting its stride as well. In the win against Houston Thursday, the team had 13 hits, with five Phillies knocking two hits including leadoff man Ben Revere.
Hamels to face live batters this weekend
Not surprisingly, the Phillies announced that injured ace Cole Hamels would not appear in Clearwater this spring. But, the lefty does plan to pitch live batting practice this weekend.
Ruf could miss opening day
Darin Ruf has been vying for a bench spot on the Phillies roster all spring, but a strained left oblique kept him out of Thursday’s split-squad game, and the power-hitting first baseman and outfielder could miss some time.
Jays defeat Phillies split-squad team
While half the squad was collecting hits against the Astros Thursday, the other half fell 3-1 to the Blue Jays. David Buchanan struck out six and allowed just three hits in four innings.
Phillies ticket sales are down
After a 257-game sellout streak that ended in 2012, the Phillies are facing a decrease in season ticket sales. The tally is down to near 19,000, from 24,000 last year. There are also still tickets available for the Home Opener on April 7.