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Papelbon tries to win over Phillies fans, Ryan Howard still in boot, Dontrelle Willis, and more


Phillies Weekly Roundup:
Papelbon tries to win over Phillies fansJonathan Papelbon photo: blogs.eagletribune.com
I have to admit, Jonathan Papelbon was someone I absolutely despised when he was a member of the Boston Red Sox.
But truth be told, he hasn’t thrown an official pitch yet for the Phillies, but so far he’s saying all the right things.

“The difference between Boston and Philadelphia, the Boston fans are a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball,” Papelbon said in an interview with a local sports radio station this week.

I’m not sure how familiar Papelbon really is with Philadelphia, but he’s saying all the right things so far. He is indeed a character anyway you slice it, and he could be a live wire on a Phillies team that doesn’t reveal its personality too often outside the clubhouse. None of the problems over in Boston were his fault, as he was one of the only players to come out of that debacle with his reputation intact. He’s a fiery competitor on the mound, and if he lives up to his contract (which will not be an easy thing to do), Papelbon is going to fit in here just fine

Howard still in boot

I know, neither Chase Utley or Ryan Howard has played in a Spring Training game yet. While Utley’s condition will always remain a mystery of sorts, Howard is still walking in a boot after having an infection removed on his injured left leg and there’s no timetable as to when he can resume activities. The Phillies are carefully guarding their $125 million dollar investment, and the way things are shaping up, Howard might not see a major league field until late May-early June. Expect to see John Mayberry Jr, Ty Wigginton, and possibly Jim Thome and Laynce Nix hold down the fort until he returns.


Dontrelle Willis off to a rocky start
Dontrelle Willis photo: US Presswire
Dontrelle Willis was part of that ‘Lightning in a bottle’ Marlins team from 2003. And much like Papelbon, I couldn’t stand him, either.

However, almost ten years later, I can’t help but feel sympathy for Willis, whom despite starting his career with lofty expectations, is now struggling to stay in the major leagues.

Willis certainly didn’t help his cause earlier this week, telling team trainers that his bicep soreness that he had was gone, then told pitching coach Rich Dubee otherwise after failing to complete an inning Wednesday against the Astros.

Needless to say, Willis didn’t exactly make any new friends with the Phillies’ staff after this incident. The last time the Phillies had two consistent lefties in their pen was 2008, and we all know what happened that year. If Antonio Bastardo can remain consistent the entire season, and a veteran like Willis can get his groove back, Charlie Manuel’s job will be a lot easier this summer.  

Unfortunately, with very little time to prove himself, hopefully Willis gets the chance to right this ship before it’s too late.


MRI says Brown has inflammation

Man, Domonic Brown just can’t get a break, but that’s probably the wrong choice of words here.

For the second straight spring, Brown has a right hand injury. Although an MRI revealed that Brown has inflammation in his sprained right thumb, (which happened as he was catching a fly ball against the Yankees) this is another setback for Brown, who will most likely start the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

 Things to look for this week:

-More time for Freddy Galvis at second base

-Several relievers that are up for the few remaining bullpen spots. Mainly David Herndon, Chad Qualls, and Willis.


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Papelbon photo: blogs.eagletribune.com