CLEARWATER, Fla. -- And so we've reached the end.
One Grapefruit League game remains. The tarp is on the field at Bright House Field and the forecast is shaky for later. But should the Phillies and Astros play, it's Nate Bump on the mound for the Phillies.
Cliff Lee is pitching in a minor-league game in order to avoid the Houston lineup seeing him right before his scheduled start against them Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.
In Philadelphia, Roy Oswalt will start Tuesday's exhibition game against Pittsburgh. Cole Hamels will start Wednesday and Joe Blanton will pitch a few innings out of the bullpen. Each pitcher will probably go three innings or so in a final tune-up.
How many homers will Ryan Howard hit this season?
|| 20 (1.8%)
|| 99 (8.9%)
|| 470 (42.5%)
|| 443 (40.0%)
|| 75 (6.8%)
Total votes = 1107
The Phillies will bring the 28 healthy players still in major-league camp to Philadelphia. They also will bring three from minor-league camp: Michael Stutes, Juan Perez and Dane Sardinha.
Stutes' inclusion is intriguing. He obviously is still in the mix for a final bullpen spot and the Phillies will take another look at him at Citizens Bank Park. Stutes was sent down to minor-league camp March 18, but he came back for a day to big-league camp on Saturday.
Domonic Brown (hand), Brian Bocock (wrist) and Brian Schlitter (elbow) are staying in Clearwater.
One other thing to consider in the final days before the roster is decided: The 40-man roster is currently full. If the Phillies need to add two players, say Castillo and Stutes, two will have to come off the 40-man roster.
Or, maybe the Phillies could place Chase Utley on the 60-day DL to free up a spot. (Just thinking.) Schlitter and Bocock are candidates for long-term DL stints, too.
Here's today's lineup:
1. Placido Polanco 5
2. Luis Castillo 4
3. Jimmy Rollins 6
4. Raul Ibanez 7
5. Shane Victorino 8
6. Ben Francisco 9
7. Ross Gload 0
8. John Mayberry Jr. 3
9. Carlos Ruiz 2
Bump will be followed by J.C. Romero, Danys Baez, Jose Contreras, Antonio Bastardo and David Herndon.
Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.
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