Yes! It’s getting closer to that time when actual baseball will be played – somewhat meaningless games sure but yet very meaningful for some of the players. As we are all aware, the Grapefruit League and it’s western counterpart the Cactus League aren’t about winning or losing as a team, it’s about younger players and invitees making a case for their future – just like Scott Kingery did last year where he forced the Phillies to add him to the 25 Man Roster and won himself a nice little contract to boot.
The Spring Training Schedule complete with home and away games and promotions is actually out now and you can peruse it at your leisure here.
Gone this year is the exhibition game against a local college team as well as the On-Deck series held at Citizens Bank Park that would typically occur a few days prior to Opening Day. Shame too because those games were actually fun to attend even though they were meaningless.
A highlight on the ST schedule will be the St. Patricks Day game against the Yankees on Sunday, March 17th. Of course, what would a holiday be without Major League Baseball taking the opportunity to separate you from your money via some exclusive merchandise, like the hat that the Phillies will be wearing for that game (see above).
The Phillies will be playing 33 games in all including 17 at home at Spectrum Field and 16 on the road. There are three days with split squad games.
The Phillies have a number of Non-Roster Invitees to camp this year highlighted by recent first round picks Adam Haseley and Mickey Moniak and overlooked AAA pitcher Cole Irvin who led the International League last year in ERA at 2.57 and was top 3 in nearly every meaningful statistical category while at Lehigh Valley...but apparently is still not a top prospect.
And of course this will also be Phillies fans first opportunity to get a look at newcomers Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen, who as a rookie in Spring Training a few short years ago could seemingly single-handedly beat an opposing team.
And just because it seems to be mandatory anymore when writing about the Phillies, the as-yet-unsigned Bryce Harper and Manny Machado could be showcasing their highly-sought-after-yet-unable-to-come-to-an-agreement talents as Phillies in Clearwater as well…we’ll see.
But the takeaway here is BASEBALL! Real baseball is afoot ladies and gentlemen.