Booker Knows He's In Spotlight

Booker Knows He's In Spotlight

Right-hander Chris Booker knows that he is under the gun. With ten days remaining before the regular season starts, the Rule 5 draft selection made his first Grapefruit League appearance for the Phillies on Thursday. Now, with just over a week until Opening Day, he gets another shot to right his sinking ship.

After allowing four runs in a rocky third inning against the Tigers, Chris Booker realizes that he probably exhausted any leeway he had if he wants to stick with the Phils.

"I can't afford to have outings like this," said Booker, who had arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason. He fell behind the rest of the pitchers because the knee wasn't stable enough to allow him to throw off a mound for two weeks. "It's just a lack of innings, you know. It comes with being shut down and having to start all over."

"I feel I have to go all out and give everything I have."

Booker's control was an issue. He walked two hitters, hit another with a pitch and allowed three hits. He also struck out Craig Monroe and Dmitri Young in the inning.

"When I got to the dugout, I thought, 'Man, I did everything that inning,'" said Booker, who as a member of the Reds organization last season went 8-4 with a 2.49 ERA and 20 saves for Triple-A Louisville. "Everything but give up a home run."

"The adrenaline kicked in -- a whole lot of it. It was my first major league game this spring. You tell yourself not to try to do too much, but I did. I tried to do that."

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