Phillips to bat cleanup, more news
Heard there was ice back at the ranch in Cincinnati. Sorry folks — mid 70s down here again. But don’t worry — we’re going to get ours Friday when it will get no higher in the 50s. So it’s not all sun and surf in Sarasota.
Here’s some stuff to keep you updated:
Dusty Baker said that Brandon Phillips will be his cleanup hitter this season.
“Oh yeah. He’ll be better,” Baker said. “Brandon will have a good year. Everybody struggles sometimes that third or fourth year. Now Brandon will re-adjust to what they’re throwing him. Sometimes, they wouldn’t throw Brandon a lot of strikes. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of it, you can’t see it. But when you’re smart like Brandon and take some time away from it, you can step back and see things.”
Also — reliever Bill Bray has started throwing in the bullpen after missing a couple of days with a sore shoulder.
Outfielder Norris Hopper has reported no trouble with throwing. Hopper is coming off Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He began his throwing program in January.
There was another session of live BP for hitters. Francisco Cordero, Bronson Arroyo, Nick Masset, Micah Owings and Jared Burton were among those who took the mound. Hitters particularly had their hands full with hard-throwing lefty prospect Pedro Viola. Masset has dropped about 15 pounds since last season.
Owner/CEO Bob Castellini arrived at the complex Thursday.