FORT MYERS, Fla. — So here we are, three days away from breaking camp in Florida, and finally the lasting image of this morose Phillies spring has emerged.
Charlie Manuel rattled off a bunch of Hector Luna's career stats following Wednesday's 11-7 loss to Minnesota. He likes Luna's bat, especially after three more hits and a home run. Luna is still a long shot to make the team on the bench, but Manuel is intrigued.
Just ask Ed Wade and his Google.
"He's played all over really," Manuel said. "He's played first. He signed originally as a shortstop but I don't think he's played shortstop in the majors. But he has played second before. I don't know when, but according to what shows on the, uh, Ed Wade Googles 'Major League Baseball' or something that shows it."
Yeah, that's this spring in a nutshell.
Luna, 32, has played in 27 major-league games over the past three years — none in 2011 — and that probably says more than 42 Grapefruit League at-bats. Luna is hitting .286 with three home runs this spring. That makes him the team leader in homers.
Problem is, Luna cannot play shortstop. Nor can he really play second base anymore. He's restricted mostly to first and third base, and maybe left field. But he's righthanded and there is uncertainty for the final few spots on the Phillies bench.
"There's some arguments there of what we can do," Manuel said. "He's been playing good. He's hit the ball very well."
See, Google can't tell you that.
Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.