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Team will be busy as draft begins

Phillies scouts will be busy today. The team has seven picks in the top 136 of this year's draft, which begins this afternoon.

Phillies scouts will be busy today. The team has seven picks in the top 136 of this year's draft, which begins this afternoon.

The Phils' first pick is 24th overall. The player the Phillies take with that pick depends on how the dominoes fall in front of them. The crop of players the Phils are considering includes two California high school stars, catcher Kyle Skipworth and outfielder Zach Collier, and Connecticut high school infielder/outfielder Anthony Hewitt. The Phils are also high on three college talents, Georgia pitcher Josh Fields, Arizona pitcher Ryan Perry and Arizona State first baseman Ike Davis.

After picking 24th, the Phils will pick at 34, 51, 72, 102, 110 and 136.

"We want to make some hay," said Mike Arbuckle, the Phillies' assistant general manager. "For several years, we didn't have a lot of high picks. This is our chance to catch up."

McNabb swings away

Eagles quarterback

Donovan McNabb

made an appearance before last night's game against Cincinnati to meet

Ken Griffey Jr.

and take a few hacks in the cage with the Phillies.

"He hit better than Hugh Douglas," said Charlie Manuel, who watched Douglas take batting practice in spring training in Clearwater, Fla.

McNabb hit a few balls well, including a couple that would have been doubles into the left-field corner. He also hit a ground-rule double to left-center.

"I knew the camera was on," he joked. "I got a one-hopper. In Little League, that's gone. And in some softball leagues, that's gone. In women's softball, that's a home run. That's how I look at it."

Will Junior play?

Griffey did not start last night because Reds manager

Dusty Baker

said he didn't want Griffey cutting, starting and stopping in the wet conditions, which could affect his sore left knee. Griffey pinch-hit in the eighth, drawing a walk from

Brett Myers

. He could start this afternoon in the series finale.

Extra special

Chase Utley

had his streak of nine straight games with an extra-base hit snapped.

The Elias Sports Bureau found that only Bobby Abreu has accomplished that feat for the Phillies in the last 75 years. He accomplished it twice: 11 straight games in 2005 and nine straight games in 1998.

Utley also had nine straight games with an RBI and a run scored. Trent McCotter of the Society for American Baseball Research found that only two players in baseball history had 10 straight games with an extra-base hit, an RBI and a run scored: St. Louis' Tip O'Neill in 1887 (12 games) and Abreu in 2005. The longest extra-base-hit streak in baseball history is 14 games by Pittsburgh's Paul Waner in 1927 and Atlanta's Chipper Jones in 2006.

What a trio

Utley (53),

Ryan Howard

(43) and

Pat Burrell

(40) have combined for more RBIs (136) than any other trio in the National League.

Only the Texas Rangers' trio of Josh Hamilton (67), David Murphy (39) and Milton Bradley (36) has combined for more RBIs (142). Houston's Lance Berkman (48), Carlos Lee (46) and Miguel Tejada (38) are closest to the Phillies in the NL.

Draft Part II

Baseball will select former Negro Leagues players as part of baseball's ceremonial Negro Leagues draft, which takes place today at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Phillies officially will select Mahlon Duckett, one of the four living former Philadelphia Stars. Harold Gould, another former Star, will be selected by the Toronto Blue Jays.

The other two living Stars, Bill "Ready" Cash and Stanley "Doc" Glenn, were not eligible for the official draft because they signed with major-league organizations during their playing careers. The Phillies will ceremoniously draft them, with both players receiving team jerseys and $5,000 checks.

Werth heads out


Jayson Werth

, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right abdominal muscle, will leave this morning to begin a rehab assignment in Clearwater, Fla.

Phillies Notes:

Busy day for Phils

The club has seven of the first 136 picks in the amateur draft today.