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Spring Training drawing near for the IronPigs

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The Philadelphia Phillies’ pitchers and catchers are due to report to Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla. for their first workout on Feb. 13 with the first full-squad practice scheduled for Feb. 18.

With much of the Major League roster already set in place, many of the team’s young athletes will be working to earn their way onto the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs for the start of the 2014 baseball season.

Things likely won’t start to take shape until Minor League camp opens on March 1 at the Carpenter Complex next to Brighthouse Field. The IronPigs (as well as the Phillies’ lower-level minor league affiliates) will embark on a 14-game schedule against the other three nearby organizations — the Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton), New York Yankees (Tampa) and Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) — starting on March 11.

Their schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, March 11: Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays) at IronPigs, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, March 12: IronPigs at Indianapolis Indians (Pirates), 1 p.m.

Friday, March 14: IronPigs at Bisons, 1 p.m.

Saturday, March 15: Bisons at IronPigs, 1 p.m.

Sunday, March 16: IronPigs at Indians, 1 p.m.

Monday, March 17: Indians at IronPigs, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, March 18: IronPigs at Indians, 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 20: Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders (Yankees) at IronPigs, 1 p.m.

Friday, March 21: IronPigs at Bisons, 1 p.m.

Saturday, March 22: Bisons at IronPigs, 10 a.m.

Monday, March 24: Railriders at IronPigs, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, March 25: IronPigs at Railriders, 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 27: IronPigs at Indians, 1 p.m.

Friday, March 28: Bisons at IronPigs, 1 p.m.

Of the Phillies’ top 10 prospects, according to Baseball America, three — top-ranked third baseman Maikel Franco, left-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle and right-handed pitcher Ethan Martin — could start the season with Lehigh Valley. MLB.com believes all three should hit the Majors at some point this season, ensuring an exciting season ahead for IronPigs fans as they get a front row seat to some of the Phillies’ future stars.

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