Systems: Minor league, storm and others

We're back from Atlanta, which is always a good thing, but it remains to be seen if baseball will be played tonight in the nation's capital. High Cheese correspondent Matthew Hoffert just checked in from Fairfax, Va. to report that Kevin Costner is currently cruising around town looking to peddle his dirt. Yes, the mid-Atlantic states are under water. The forecast calls for thunderstorms all day with a 60 percent chance of rain running through 9 p.m. I'm sure they'll find a window, though.

A few things to get to...

1) One of our goals this season is to provide you with better coverage of the Phillies minor league system, since we realize there is a huge appetite for that amongst the fan base. Check out today's Daily News for the second installment of our weekly minor league page, "The System." Daily News staffers Joe Berkery and Ed Barkowitz will do the bulk of the heavy lifting, so feel free to give them a shout: and

2) Today, Joe has an update on Joe Savery's progress at the plate. Savery, as you all know, was drafted as a pitcher in the first round, but never really established himself as a prospect on the mound and is now looking to develop a career at the plate. He has a long way to go. Keep in mind he is only facing Class A pitching at this point. But he is off to a good start.

3) Here's something I never knew: relief prospect Michael Schwimer occasionally trains with tennis pro Andy Roddick. It's never a bad thing when you are on Brooklyn Decker's radar when it comes time for her to play match-maker with her single friends.

4) Assuming tonight's game is played, the top storyline is sure to be the Phillies' facing their former outfielder and World Series teammate. That's right, Matt Stairs is on the Nationals active roster. Well, so is Jayson Werth, who will likely bat third tonight now that Ryan Zimmerman has been placed on the disabled list with an abdominal strain.

Werth has actually faced Blanton once before, back in 2008, when Blanton was still with the Athletics and the Phillies were in Oakland for an interleague series.

Werth went 1-for-2 with a walk that day. Werth has also faced Roy Halladay (0-for-1 with a strikeout) and Cliff Lee (1-for-3 with a strikeout), the two of whom will start on Wednesday and Thursday.

In the Phillies bullpen, Werth has faced Jose Contreras (1-for-4, RBI, BB, 2 SO) and Danys Baez (1-for-1).

Here is what the Phillies had to say about facing Werth. Charlie Manuel seemed thrilled with the beer mugs Werth bought him for Christmas. But Manuel says he hasn't had a chance to use them yet.


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