Friday, March 30, 2012

2012 Topps Heritage #16 Juan Pierre

Phillies 2, Rays 1
Spring Training Game 29 - Thursday Afternoon, March 29th in Clearwater
Record - 12-14-3

One Sentence Summary:  Cole Hamels struck out seven in 5+ strong innings of work and Hector Luna's walk-off RBI-single in the ninth won it for the Phillies, 2-1.

What It Means:  Hamels looks ready for the season to start and Luna only improved his chances of making the club.

What Went Right:  Hamels pitched very well, with his only blemish being a fourth inning home run to Evan Longoria.  Juan Pierre went two for two with a stolen base.

Featured Card:  The Phillies officially purchased Pierre's contract yesterday, placing him on the team's 40-man roster and possibly signaling the end of the line (for now) for roster hopeful Scott Podsednik.  This is Pierre's only 2012 baseball card so far.  I'm hopeful that his first Phillies card is featured within the team issued postcard set, which I'll be purchasing at some point during the team's opening home series against the Marlins in a few weeks.

Camp Headcount:  35

The big news yesterday was that Pierre has made the club, but four more players were told to pack their knives and go.  Officially, catcher Erik Kratz was optioned out and utility player Tim Kennelly was reassigned yesterday, reducing the camp head count to 35.  Unofficially, catcher Tuffy Gosewisch and outfielder Lou Montanez were told they haven't made the team, but they'll continue to travel with the Phils until Opening Day.  So the unofficial headcount is 33, which can be further reduced to 29 when you consider that four players will open the season on the disabled list.  (Justin De Fratus, Ryan Howard, Michael Martinez and Chase Utley.)

It looks as if the battle for the final bench spot could come down to Pete Orr vs. Luna.  And the final bullpen spot could come down to Joe Savery, David Herndon, Michael Stutes (who might also be DL-bound) or Raul Valdes.

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