The Phillies open up a ten-game home-stand tonight against the San Francisco Giants. Former Phillie Pat Burrell is expected to get the start in left field, marking his first regular season return to Citizens Bank Park since his World Series double in 2008. Burrell came back to Philadelphia once before in a Rays uniform for an on-deck series prior to the 2009 season. Although Pat the Bat was a bust for Tampa Bay, he has re-discovered his stroke with the Giants, totaling 10 home runs and 30 RBIs in 196 plate appearances. Don't look for the usual #5 in left field; Burrell changed his number to 9 thanks to Juan Uribe.
Aaron Rowand will also be suiting up against the Phils tonight. Although he signed a 5 year, $60 million contract with the Giants following the 2007 season, he has not lived up to the pact. Rowand has been splitting time with Andres Torres in center field. Fans remember Rowand's highlight-reel catch in 2006 where he broke his nose crashing into the center field wall to rob Xavier Nady and the Mets of a rain-shortened win.
Ed Wade's Houston Astros come to Philadelphia for a four game series starting next Monday. Since taking Houston's GM position, Ed Wade has made it his life goal to acquire as many former Phillies as possible on an active roster (as well as helping the Phillies whenever possible). Pitchers Nelson Figeuroa (released by the Phillies earlier this season), Brett Myers (signed with Houston as a free agent), and J.A. Happ (acquired in Roy Oswalt deal) will be in town with Houston. Myers is expected to start on Monday and Happ will take the hill on Wednesday. Sadly, you Figeuroa fans will have to wait; he is not expected to face the Fightins.
Also joining the 'Stros are Michael Bourn (acquired for Brad Lidge), Jason Michaels (free agent signing), and Pedro Feliz (free agent signing). Ed was forced to release Geoff Geary's 8.10 ERA after the 2009 season.