Sports columnist Bob Brookover joined the Inquirer in 2000 as the Phillies beat writer after long stints in the same role with the Camden Courier-Post and the Delaware County Daily Times. He also served as the National League columnist for ESPN. He made the move from rawhide to pigskin in 2003 and covered the Eagles for seven years before returning to his roots as the Inquirer's baseball columnist in 2010. He became a general sports columnist in 2013 and loves covering a variety of sports and events.
A couple of quick notes to pass along before tonight's 7:05 game against Baltimore at Bright House Field:
--Placido Polanco (right knee sprain) will not be in the lineup tonight as he had hoped. Charlie Manuel said that Polanco will probably take infield and BP before the game. Polanco said he plans to play in a minor-league game tomorrow, which means he will not have a homecoming in Lakeland, spring training site of his former team, the Detroit Tigers.
--LHP Sergio Escalona and INF Brian Bocock were optioned to minor league camp. It had long been clear that he didn't stand a real chance to break camp with the Phillies. Mike Zagurski and Antonio Bastardo remain with the big club, and one will have to come north because J.C. Romero is almost certain to miss opening day.
"In the role (Escalona) is going to be in, when he comes to the big leagues, he has to get left-handed hitters out," Manuel said. "He knows that. We told him that. Basically he needs to get more consistent."
Manuel did not rule out the possibility that the Phillies could try to acquire a left-handed reliever outside the organization.
"I'm sure is taking a look at anybody that we feel can help us," Manuel said. "But right now what we got is kind of what we're looking at."
It sounds as if it is Bastardo's job to lose.
"Bastardo is still here and he has got a good arm and we're still going to keep letting him go out there and pitch and see what we have in him," Manuel said.
--Jamie Moyer was supposed to pitch tomorrow after starter Roy Halladay, but will now start on Sunday against the Orioles instead. Sounds like the team just wanted him to start a game, rather than pitch from the bullpen; I wouldn't read much into that tweak.
"It's time for us to get him in the game and start pitching him against major-league teams," Manuel said.