By Harry Allison

Play ball!

It’s opening day for the exhibition season, with the Phillies hosting the University of Tampa in the only game of the day.

Paul Clemens starts for the Phils – he pitched parts of two years for Houston – and Darin Ruf (photo above) will bat cleanup for the Phillies at Bright House Field in Clearwater.

The Cliff Lee auction starts Thursday against the Astros in Kissimmee, with the Phils’ ace lefty scheduled to start. Lee finished last season on the disabled list with an injured left elbow, but there have been no issues this spring.

“Cliff is right on,” Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure said Friday afternoon. “He’s throwing well. He feels good.”

Lee, who is scheduled to throw two innings, is one of a host of Phillies veterans that could be traded this season.

Phillies right-hander Jerome Williams will start Tuesday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Yankees at Bright House Field. Right-handers David Buchanan and Jeanmar Gomez and left-handers Joely Rodriguez and Mario Hollands also are scheduled to pitch.

Right-hander Aaron Harang will start Wednesday’s game against the Yankees in Tampa. Right-handers Ethan Martin, Justin De Fratus, Paul Clemens, Kevin Slowey and Hector Neris also will pitch.

At today’s game against Tampa, right-handers Clemens, Phillippe Aumont, Neris, Nefi Ogando and left-handers Elvis Araujo and Andy Oliver are scheduled to pitch.



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