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Phils to bring winning mindset into exhibition

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies will prep for Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener with an exhibition against the University of Tampa on Sunday at Bright House Field.

The Phillies lost to Tampa last spring to become the first big league team to lose to a college squad since Feb. 27, 2011, when the Miami Hurricanes beat the Marlins. Major League teams are 23-1 against college teams the past four years. But while Sunday's result is ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of things, the Phillies want to beat the Division II team.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies will prep for Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener with an exhibition against the University of Tampa on Sunday at Bright House Field.

The Phillies lost to Tampa last spring to become the first big league team to lose to a college squad since Feb. 27, 2011, when the Miami Hurricanes beat the Marlins. Major League teams are 23-1 against college teams the past four years. But while Sunday's result is ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of things, the Phillies want to beat the Division II team.

"I don't want to lose to a college team," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

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Jeremy Hellickson and Aaron Nola will pitch the first two innings against Tampa. One of them is expected to be the Phillies' Opening Day starter. The other is expected to pitch Game 2. Mackanin said veterans like Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard will not play. Peter Bourjos will start in left field.

Otherwise, except to see most of the Phillies' top young prospects.

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Worth noting

• Outfielder Cody Asche and infielder Andres Blanco will not play Sunday. Asche has been bothered by a sore oblique, while Blanco has an issue with his right shoulder. Blanco is expected to throw Monday.

• MLB has instituted new rules on the neighborhood play at second base and sliding into second base.

"We have to talk to those guys about it because it's a different type of play," Mackanin said. "Basically, as an infielder, you just make the plays the way you're supposed to make them. It has more to do with you as a baserunner than anything else. You have to slide into the base. You can't change direction. It's different. But as a defensively player, you don't really change anything."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

 

Philadelphia Phillies