Zagurski, Escalona, Eaton and the first week of spring

If you aren't down here in Clearwater, don't worry -- you aren't missing much. Yesterday was a pretty slow day here as guys continue to trickle in one-by-one. Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre were here, along with Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick, but most of the rest of the group consisted of minor leaguers who don't have much of a shot at the big-league roster. I did have a conversation with Mike Zagurski, the lefty who continues to rehab from Tommy John surgery he underwent April 3 of last year. Zagurski likely won't be competing for a spot in the bullpen this spring, but he hopes to be back on a mound in a competitive situation sometime around Opening Day.

Another guy who is here who you should keep your eye on is lefty Sergio Escalona. He converted from starter to reliever last year and performed pretty well at Double-A Reading, posting a 2.22 ERA. He also impressed some of the Phillies brass with his performance in the Arizona Fall League. I'm not saying he's a likelihood to make the team, but a nice spring could earn him some consideration.

Keep in mind the Phillies aren't looking solely at a left-handed pitcher. They carried one lefty -- J.C. Romero -- for the majority of last season, and have no qualms about doing so again this season, with Scott Eyre, at least until Romero returns.

Amaro said yesterday he doesn't expect any additions to the roster between now and the weekend, so what you are seeing right now is likely what you are going to get. There are still some relievers on the market with name recognition, including former Braves lefty Will Ohman and D-Backs righthander Juan Cruz, but neither are realistic as of right now, thanks to their pricetags. The Phils have talked with Ohman over the past month, but they don't have much money budgeted for another relief arm, thanks to their $130+ million payroll and the desire to retain some financial flexibility in case another bench bat becomes available.


The Phillies are expecting Adam Eaton in camp. And while Amaro seemed to rule out the possibility of Eaton winning a spot in the rotation a couple of weeks ago at a media breakfast, he said yesterday that the righthander will have an opportunity to pitch during spring training.

"He'll get a chance to pitch," Amaro said.


I put the finishing touches on my stories for our spring training preview that is running later this week. One of the sections featured our five fearless predictions for the end of spring. For example, I'm predicting that J.A. Happ wins the No. 5 spot in the rotation, but that Chan Ho Park and Kyle Kendrick will each find themselves in a starting situation at some point this season. Feel free to share yours.