Franklin's approach was not to show the Braves too much of his arsenal.
"I had the mind-set going in that I didn't want to show them too much how I
was going to pitch them during the season," Franklin said.
First baseman Ryan Howard smacked his ninth Spring Training homer on
Wednesday, tying Dick Allen's club record for spring homers, set in 1964.
Howard must feel locked in, huh?
"Nope. Not right now," he said. "Obviously, I'm getting hits, but as far as
playing the way I want to feel, no. I'm a little off-balance right now. I'm trying
to get that cleaned up. I have a bit of a long swing. I'll get it all taken care
And when will that happen?
"That remains to be seen," the slugger said.
Turning the page:
Every baseball marriage typically ends in divorce
at some point, and Todd Pratt's case file is no different.
The veteran catcher spoke his mind on Wednesday about his separation from the team, right before the Phillies-Braves game.
Pratt felt there was a lack of direct communication between him and his former ballclub regarding their desire to go their separate ways.
"I was very surprised. I was upset," he said. "That's the way it is. That's
Pratt claimed that he didn't hear from anyone from the organization until Dec. 7,
when assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. phoned to say they wouldn't offer salary
arbitration, effectively ending his tenure with the team. The 39-year-old played
with the Phillies from 1992-94 and from 2001-05. Last year, he hit .251 with seven homers and
23 RBIs in 60 games, including a career-best 49 starts.
"They called me the last day," Pratt said. "That was it. I played the last
important game for them [against the Nationals] and I don't even get a phone call?
That's fine. There's definitely no hard feelings."
Amaro said he wasn't positive, but believed the team did call Pratt right
after the season, but it's important to note that the Phillies had more pressing
First of all, they had no general manager until Nov. 2, then had to focus on
keeping, then replacing the now-Met closer Billy Wagner. A backup catcher ranked lower on their
offseason to-do list.
Amaro also said the other major factor into his decision was that the team felt it
needed a catcher who was probably going to start more games, and Pratt had averaged
somewhere between 35 to 45 games over the past four years, plus Pratt was going to turn 39 this year.
"This stuff that happens every year," Amaro said. "We love Pratty. He did a
great job for us. We were still in the process of deciding what we wanted to do with
our catching and were still processing the guys who were available. We ended up
making a decision to not bring him back.
"This has happened for years," Amaro said. "Guys aren't re-signed for
whatever reason and are upset. That's part of the game. Obviously Pat had a lot of
other things going on and we were still trying to make a decision on which way we
wanted to go."
Ultimately, Pratt said the Phillies' decision ended up being a good thing and is happy to be on the Braves.
"I keep [saying] I want to play two more years," he said. "I'm in great
shape. As long as I feel good, I feel I'll play well."
"I want him to think that, but I don't want him to go." --
manager Charlie Manuel, on Howard thinking about stretching a double into a triple on
Closer Tom Gordon threw a scoreless inning Wednesday, with a strikeout,
and looked sharp. Third baseman David Bell played in his second Minor League game on Wednesday. He
doubled, tripled, walk, struck out twice and grounded out to first.
Robinson Tejeda makes his first start of the spring on Thursday
against the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET, giving the Phillies more time to properly evaluate him. He had
been promised a fair shot to make the team after pitching for the Domincan Republic
in the World Baseball Classic. Ryan Madson, who would normally take that spot, is
scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game.