CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It's an off day for everyone on the major-league side of Phillies spring training. That is, except for Roy Halladay and the ballscribes.
So we watched the reigning Cy Young Award winner face a bunch of minor-leaguers from Pittsburgh. In five innings, Halladay allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits. He struck out three and walked one on his 80 pitches.
Actually, Halladay wasn't the only one from big-league camp working Wednesday. At the pitcher's request, Tuffy Gosewisch caught him. Gosewisch, who will be sent back to the minors shortly, has developed a reputation in the organization as being a great defensive catcher.
Halladay has noticed the same thing.
"I like him," Halladay said. "I've thrown a lot of bullpens to him in spring training. He's a great receiver. He kind of knows what I do. Obviously I'm not going to ask Chooch to come in on the off day. He probably would have told me no anyway.
"[Gosewisch] works hard. He's always excited to do it. He wants to do it. So to have a guy who actually wants to be here and wants to help you and wants to do it -- on top of being a good catcher -- I'll take that any time."
Coming out of Halladay's mouth, that's about the highest compliment for a catcher.
Gosewisch, 27, will likely be back at double-A Reading in 2011. He spent all of 2010 there and hit .241 with nine home runs. Eventually, he could be the catcher who shepherds the next wave of Phillies starting pitchers -- guys like Brody Colvin, Jarred Cosart and Trevor May -- once they reach the higher levels of the minor-league system.
Read Thursday's Inquirer for a story on how Halladay's day in the minors became an event.
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