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Phillies set for spring finale against Cobb, Rays

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

CLEARWATER, Fla. — For the final time in 2017, the Philadelphia Phillies (14-17-4) will host a game at Spectrum Field.

With the 25-man roster set ahead of Monday's Opening Day — featuring newcomers such as Brock Stassi and Daniel Nava — final tune-ups will surely be in order Friday afternoon as the club opposes RHP Alex Cobb and the Tampa Bay Rays (12-16-4). Ten-year veteran RHP Clay Buchholz will take the mound for his sixth spring start.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Tampa Bay Rays (12-16-4) Philadelphia Phillies (14-17-4)
RHP Alex Cobb RHP Clay Buchholz
(2016: 1-2, 8.59 ERA) (2016: 8-10, 4.78 ERA)

Cobb, 29, was scratched from a scheduled minor league start on Sunday due to lower back tightness. The five-year veteran will make his regular season debut Wednesday evening in the opening series finale against the New York Yankees.


Buchholz, 32, has not impressed this spring. In 16 2/3 innings, the right-hander has surrendered 12 runs (11 earned) on 19 hits, nine walks and four home runs with 13 strikeouts. He has a 5.94 ERA and 1.680 WHIP ratio.

Similar to Cobb, Buchholz's Phillies regular season debut will come in the opening series finale Thursday afternoon against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. He will oppose rookie right-hander Rookie Davis.

 Starting Lineups:

Tampa Bay Rays (12-16-4) Philadelphia Phillies (14-17-4)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 DH Corey Dickerson L 1 2B Cesar Hernandez S
2 CF Kevin Kiermaier L 2 SS Freddy Galvis S
3 1B Logan Morrison L 3 LF Howie Kendrick R
4 2B Brad Miller L 4 RF Michael Saunders L
5 RF Steven Souza Jr. R 5 3B Andres Blanco S
6 C Derek Norris R 6 1B Brock Stassi L
7 SS Tim Beckham R 7 CF Aaron Altherr R
8 LF Mallex Smith L 8 C Andrew Knapp S
9 3B Daniel Robertson R 9 P Clay Buchholz L

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 1:05 p.m.
  • TV: TCN
  • Radio: N/A

Game Notes:

  • The Phillies are winless in three meetings with the Rays this spring, having lost their Feb. 27 and March 19 matchups, 2-7 and 0-8, respectively. Both clubs tied 5-5 on March 1.
  • Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco is not in the starting lineup. In 77 at-bats this spring, Franco hit .234/.280/.481 with one double, five walks, six home runs and 17 RBIs. His RBI total is tied for the club lead with Stassi, who starts Friday at first base.
  • Prior to the spring finale, the Rays held a workout at Tropicana Field on its new turf.

What's Next:

  • Monday, April 3, 2017: at Cincinnati Reds, 4:10 p.m.
    • Great American Ball Park
    • RHP Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, - ERA) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (0-0, - ERA)
    • TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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