It's an interesting question, the one posited in the subject line of this blog post. When he signed in the offseason for a minor league deal that could pay him $600,000, it wasn't hailed as big news. After all, Marcus Giles hadn't played baseball in more than a year, and the last season that he did play ended with him hitting .196 in his final 91 games. But Giles is getting his opportunities this spring training, and the past couple of days he has made the most of them. Manager Charlie Manuel said at the beginning of camp he wouldn't mind having another infielder on his bench, particularly one who can hit right-handed, run the bases, and play a variety of defensive positions. Giles would seem to have a check mark next to each category.
Is he ready? He thinks he is, at least according to what he told me prior to a game against the Braves in which he had two hits and stole two bases. Here's the story in today's paper.
I talked to a Phillies source late last night who said definitively the team is not in the running for Will Ohman's services. Could that change? Absolutely. But with the way the Phillies' roster and payroll sets up right now, the only way it would happen is if an injury leaves them desperate or Ohman (or Beimel, or Reyes) is willing to sign for a very club-friendly deal.
Keep in mind that there is always dialogue between clubs and agents. And also keep in mind that there was speculation all last spring that the Phillies needed to add another left-handed reliever. But, in the end, the only reliever they added was righthander Rudy Seanez. And for the bulk of the season, J.C. Romero was their only southpaw in the pen.
The story of the day is Cole Hamels' 2009 spring debut. There has been a lot of talk about Hamels being behind the other pitchers in camp. But just to keep things in perspective, the lefty did not make his 2008 spring debut until March 2nd last year. Today is March 4th. Add in the extra day in February last year (it was a leap year), and you pretty much have a wash.
Oh, and Hamels line last March 2nd?
Two innings, four runs, four earned, two home runs, two walks, two strikeouts in a 7-7 tie with the Yankees.
All's well that ends well, I guess.