Just a few things to know as we await the start of Grapefruit League ball:
- Baseball America has released its top 100 prospects list, and only two Phillies pharmhands--Domonic Brown (#15) and Phillippe Aumont (#93)--are on the list. This isn't surprising, given the talent offloaded in the Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay trades, and it might be some consolation to note that four other former Phils prospects--Kyle Drabek (#25), Michael Taylor (#29), Jason Knapp (#64) and Travis d'Arnaud (#81)--are in the top hundred. Pending further trades, of course, I wouldn't be surprised to see four or five Phils entrants on next year's list.
- Just when you thought Cole Hamels was going to focus on his curveball to the exclusion of other pitches beyond his well established fastball and changeup, reports from Florida are that he debuted a promising cutter in a mound session on Friday. He's been taking pointers on the pitch from a pretty good authority: ace Roy Halladay.
- Boston's gain is our loss: Scott Lauber of the Wilmington, Delaware-based News Journal and the excellent Philled In blog is joining the staff of the Boston Herald in a few weeks' time. The Phillies' improved fortunes over the last few years has been mirrored by the emergence of a crop of thoughtful young writers in the major Philly-area outlets covering the club, and Scott has been in the forefront of that group. We wish him the very best of luck in his new gig.