02/25/2013 5:48 PM ET
Papelbon focused on his delivery, not spring ERA
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera crushed a three-run home run to left field in the fifth inning Monday at Bright House Field.
The ball traveled so far that rumors spread it destroyed the windshield of one of the vehicles parked just over the tiki bar. The talk proved untrue, but it did not change the fact Cabrera's homer was a bomb. And that bomb did not come against some Minor Leaguer or journeyman trying to make the team. It came against Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Papelbon allowed five hits, six runs, two walks, two home runs and struck out two in two-thirds of an inning in his Grapefruit League debut. He threw 22 pitches (13 strikes) and walked off the mound with an 81.00 ERA.
"I felt good," Papelbon said. "Just as long as I'm repeating my delivery. I'm more concerned about repeating my delivery, throwing the ball out front ... that's really it. Everything else kind of falls by the wayside as the spring goes on."
Said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel: "Papelbon had a nice ERA today. I ain't worried about Papelbon."
Reliever Stutes makes long-awaited return to mound
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Mike Stutes had not pitched in a game for the Phillies since April because of a right shoulder injury.
He showed some rust Monday.
Stutes allowed one hit, two runs and two walks in one inning of a 10-1 loss to the Tigers in a Grapefruit League game at Bright House Field. It was his first appearance of the spring.
"I felt good, but I was just kind of out there aiming the ball a little bit," said Stutes, who is competing for a bullpen job. "I got out there and was kind of trying to be too fine. I've been feeling good. I felt pretty good in the live BPs and stuff like that."
Said Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee: "It's his first time on the mound in 10 months. I wouldn't jump off the ship yet."
• Ryan Howard went 2-for-2 on Monday, including a single to right field against Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly. Howard, whose sacrifice fly in the fourth scored the Phillies' only run, is trying to improve his at-bats against left-handers this season.
• Right-hander Phillippe Aumont threw a scoreless inning Monday against the Tigers. Left-hander Raul Valdes allowed four hits, two runs, one home run and struck out two in two innings. They are competing for bullpen jobs.
• Phillies players and coaches wore black B.A.T. caps during batting practice. The Baseball Assistance Team spoke to the team before its morning workout. B.A.T. raises money to aid members of the "baseball family" in need. Essentially, they help former players in need of health care or financial assistance. B.A.T. raised more than $2.2 million during its Spring Training tour last year.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.