Saturday, March 16, 2013

2002 Topps Heritage #56 Nelson Figueroa

Rays 3, Phillies 1 (10 Innings)
Spring Training Game 20 - Friday Afternoon, March 15th in Port Charlotte
Record - 8-11-1

One Sentence Summary:  The Rays won in extras, but the five scoreless innings from fifth starter John Lannan were the highlight of the day.

What It Means:  Lannan has been a pleasant surprise this spring and he now has a 3.21 ERA through four spring starts.

What Went Wrong:  The offense managed only four hits off Rays pitching.  Stephen Vogt hit a two-run walk-off home run in the 10th off Phillies reliever Jay Johnson to win it for the Rays.

Featured Cards:  I decided to give the World Baseball Classic a chance this year, and I'll admit I've enjoyed watching some of the televised games.  Last night, former Phillie Nelson Figueroa led Team Puerto Rico to victory over Team USA, eliminating the Americans from the tournament.  He didn't allow his first hit until the fourth inning and he allowed just two hits overall in his six shutout innings.

J.C. Romero closed out the game for Puerto Rico, retiring Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins for the final two outs.

2008 Upper Deck World
Series Champions #PP-20
I have a half dozen Figueroa cards in my collection from his first stint with the Phillies in 2001.  Alas, to my knowledge, the only Phillies card Figueroa received during his second stint with the Phillies in 2010 was this Chachi card.  Most of the Romero cards in my collection are from the team-issued postcard sets.

Camp Head Count:  Every year around this time, I start to lose track of the team's roster moves.  The first few rounds of cuts are easy enough to follow as there's usually a big deal made surrounding the "first cuts of the spring."  The last cuts right before the start of the regular season are well reported too.

It's these in-between cuts that I seem to miss.  What I know for sure is that the Phils optioned out Cesar Hernandez and they reassigned pitcher Justin Friend.  So that puts us at 42 minus 2 = 40.   But then they went and added four players between yesterday and today - pitchers Jay Johnson, Colby Shreve and Jordan Whatcott along with catcher John Suomi.  I won't add these four guys to the tally as they're most likely in Major League camp to provide late spring depth.

And if you're keeping score at home, a few reliable Phillies sources are reporting that the official camp head count is now at 39.  I think this is because they're not including Carlos Ruiz in the tally since Ruiz will open the season on the restricted list due to his PED suspension.  But I could be wrong.

No comments: