Written by Billy Wichterman
Tomorrow evening, March 3rd, the Phillies will take the field against another team for the first time this spring. Though its not a Major League club, it is a noteworthy opponent. For the 4th consecutive season, the Philadelphia Phillies will open their exhibition play with a game at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Florida against the Florida State Seminoles.
National League Rookie-of-the-Year Runner-Up J.A. (James Anthony) Happ gets the start. Look for the lefty to get 3-4 innings of work, but don’t focus so much on his numbers as you should understand his work ethic. He’ll be working on controlling the placement of his pitches, particularly his fastball and slider with some changeups thrown in to well… change it up.
After Happ, expect to see Phillippe Aumont. Don’t recognize the name? Well you should get used to this Canadian born Quebec native. He is what Pat Gallen of http://www.philliesnation.com calls,”the centerpiece of the Cliff Lee trade, meaning many eyes will be glued to his performance.” It’s hard to disagree with that. The righty was drafted 11th overall by the Mariners in 2007 and at that time, many projected him to progress into ace pitching material. There’s plenty of room for growth with this 21-year-old and the Phillies look to groom him in hopes he can one day crack the rotation.
No one in their right (or left) mind should expect him to be the incredible pitcher Lee was last year for the boys in red pinstripes. At best, Aumont could find himself being the third or fourth starter in the rotation, depending whether or not he can find confidence in his changeup and curveball, pitches he has diligently been developing since joining the team in midwest Florida just three weeks ago.
You can Watch or Listen to this game on MLB.TV
No regional broadcast available.
First spring regional broadcast:
vs NYY March 4 1:05PM
TV: CSN & Radio: WPHT 1210