Phillies Notes: Papelbon lit up as Phils fall to Tigers, 10-1

With a spring training ERA of 81, Jonathan Papelbon was philosophical. "Spring is spring," he said.
With a spring training ERA of 81, Jonathan Papelbon was philosophical. "Spring is spring," he said. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff)
Posted: February 26, 2013

CLEARWATER, Fla. - During batting practice at Bright House Field, it's not uncommon for balls to fly over the tiki bar in left field and crash onto vehicles parked outside the stadium.

That kind of power is rare in games. But there was no mistaking it when Miguel Cabrera's bat met Jonathan Papelbon's fastball Monday in a 10-1 Detroit Tigers rout.

Moments after Cabrera's swing, only a select few could see where the ball had rocketed. It whacked the top of a semitruck trailer, a security guard said, and bounced to the fence that serves as the outfield wall for a practice field at the adjacent Carpenter Complex.

"Nice hitting," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I got to watch it. It went a long ways, over the tiki hut."

It did not amuse Papelbon. Seven of the nine batters he faced reached base before he was mercifully removed at 31 pitches. But the Phillies closer was philosophical about being saddled with an 81.00 ERA in the Grapefruit League.

"Spring is spring, Papelbon said. "You have to do what you can do to prepare for the season. You can't just say, 'Oh, it's spring training.' I don't think anyone in here, including myself, goes about it that way. Everybody comes here with a plan and approach to be ready. I'm no different than everyone else."

Stutes stumbles, too

A little more than 10 months since he last appeared in a game, Mike Stutes stood on the mound at Bright House Field and tried too hard.

His first five pitches Monday were balls. His next one was driven to the warning track in left field. He walked two batters, fell behind just about every hitter he faced, and allowed a two-run triple in the sixth inning.

"I was trying to be right on the black every time," Stutes said, "instead of just throwing pitches like I should have been."

The 26-year-old reliever filled a valuable spot in the Phillies' bullpen two seasons ago but starts from scratch this spring. He underwent shoulder surgery last June. With a crowded and competitive bullpen, Stutes needs a good spring just to make the team.

Extra bases

Ryan Howard had three at-bats against a lefthanded pitcher Monday and delivered two singles and a sacrifice fly. . . . Tyler Cloyd relieved Cliff Lee and was just as sharp as Lee in two scoreless innings.


comments powered by Disqus