NEW YORK METS (3-3, second place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (3-3, second place/NL East)
PHILLIES SHORT HOPS
For the first time since Desi Relaford opened the season there in 2000, the Phillies had an Opening Day shortstop other than Jimmy Rollins last week. Freddy Galvis has succeeded Rollins, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Dec. 19 for minor leaguers Zach Elfin and Tom Windle. Galvis hit only .176 in 119 at-bats last season with Philadelphia. He is off to a 7-for-22 (.318) start to this season.
Righty-hitting Jeff Francoeur and lefty-hitting Grady Sizemore have shared right field to open the season. Francoeur, who made the Opening Day roster after signing a minor league deal in November, homered on Wednesday against Boston’s Rick Porcello. It was Francoeur’s first long ball since June 16, 2013, while a member of the Kansas City Royals. While spending last season at Triple-A El Paso, Francoeur actually logged 7 1/3 innings in eight relief appearances. He had a 3.68 ERA, albeit while walking four and hitting three batters.
Ex-Met Aaron Harang signed a one-year, $5 million deal on Dec. 30. In his Phillies debut, Harang limited the Boston Red Sox to two hits and a walk while striking out eight in 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He retired the game’s first 11 batters.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon created a stir during a season-opening series against the Red Sox. He told The Boston Globe that he doesn’t “really feel much like a Phillie.” Papelbon nearly is the saves leader for two organizations. He already holds the Red Sox saves record with 219 saves. With Philadelphia, Papelbon has 108 saves. The franchise record is 112, by Jose Mesa, who pitched for the team from 2001 through ’03 and again in ’07. Papelbon has a $13 million vesting option for next season based on games finished.
Outfielder Domonic Brown has opened the season on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left Achilles. He began a rehab assignment Thursday. Brown is not slated to be activated until after the series against the Mets. He is due to play right field, although the impact on Francoeur, Sizemore and Darin Ruf's playing time is not yet clear.
Ryan Howard will earn $25 million this season and again in 2016. There is a team option for $23 million for 2017. Otherwise, Howard is entitled to a $10 million buyout. Chase Utley has vesting options for 2016 through 2018 at $15 million a season. Each year kicks in when Utley achieves 500 plate appearances the preceding season.
Left-hander Cliff Lee is on the 60-day disabled list, but will try to rehab his balky elbow without surgery. Lee has been diagnosed with a torn common flexor tendon. He is in the final season of a five-year, $120 million deal.
The Phillies are wearing an “SLB” patch on their uniforms. It is a tribute to Sara L. “Sally” Buck, a member of the Phillies ownership group, who died Aug. 23, 2014.