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March 14 2007

Yesterday we looked at the hitters that may be on the team already and the others guys in the mix for the remaining spots.  Without an injury, it seems unlikely that the Phillies can keep all three of Coste, Dobbs and Garcia unless they wanted to go into the season with 14 hitters and 11 pitchers.  At this point it looks like it would be a really poor idea to do so given the problems the Phillies have in the pen.  Nevertheless, I thought it might be interesting to look at the recent trends in the breakdowns of opening day rosters in terms of hitters and pitchers.

Baseball America lists opening day rosters on their site.  Check out 2006 here and 2005 here.

First the Phillies.  The Phils have gone into the season with 12 hitters and 13 pitchers each of the last two years.  Each year they carried two catchers.  In '06 they carried six infielders and five outfielders, in '05 they carried seven infielders and four outfielders early in the year.

Of the 11 guys I expect are definitely on the team this year, five are infielders (Howard, Utley, Rollins, Helms and Nunez), two are catchers (Ruiz and Barajas) and four are outfielders (Burrell, Victorino, Rowand and Werth).  I think the other two hitters' spots go to Coste, who is either a catcher or a first baseman but probably a catcher, and one of either Dobbs, who can play both infield and outfield but may be more likely to appear in the infield for the Phillies, or Garcia, an outfielder.

In the National League over the past two seasons, each year 12 of the 16 teams have started the year with 12 pitchers and 13 hitters and four teams have started the season with 11 pitchers and 14 hitters.

The American League, given it's deep-seeded hatred of pinch-hitters, is a different story.  In 2006, seven of the 14 AL teams went into the season with 11 pitchers, six with 12 pitchers and one (Tampa Bay) with 13 pitchers.  In 2005, half of the teams carried 11 pitchers to start the season and the other half carried 12.

Between both leagues, over the past two years the trend is that most NL teams (75%) have carried 12 pitchers while about half of the American League teams have.

Eaton is okay with going to the pen but expects to start.  I expect him to start too.

Gordon returned to Florida after seeing the Phillies team physician.  He may pitch Saturday or Sunday.  Saturday or Sunday is not Friday, which is when he might have pitched next yesterday.

This article suggests that Rowand has hit the ball well over the last two days despite being 4-for-31 this spring.

Gavin Floyd got lit up yesterday for the White Sox.

Yesterday the Phillies beat the Devil Rays 11-8 to improve to 6-7 in spring training.

Rod Barajas had a big day with the bat.  He was 2-for-4 with three RBI and hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning.  The Phillies scored eight times in the fifth, the big blow was a two-out grand slam from Ron Calloway.  For both Barajas and Calloway it was the first home run of spring.  Helms was 2-for-3 with a sac fly.  Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and stole his third base of spring training. 

Dobbs played left field and was 0-for-4 with a stolen base.  Karim Garcia was 1-for-3 with a walk.  Coste was 0-for-1. 

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phils and went 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk.  He held the Devil Rays to a run on a solo homer from Ty Wigginton through three innings and was charged with a second run in the fourth.  In the fourth he allowed a leadoff single but struck out the next two batters before being replaced by Clay Condrey.  The first three men he faced greeted him with double, single, double and Tampa Bay had scored three times before he got out of the inning with one of the three runs charged to Eaton.

Condrey didn't have any more success in the fifth.  He gave up a single and a two-run homer, the second of the day for Wigginton, before getting the next two men.  The next four Devil Rays reached on a double, a walk, a single and a hit by pitch.  Kane Davis replaced Condrey and got the final out of the inning.  On the day, Condrey was charged with five runs in an inning on seven hits and a walk.

Davis set Tampa Bay down 1-2-3 in the sixth and got the leadoff man in the seventh before walking Jorge Velandia.  Yamid Haad reached on an error and Brian Saches replaced Davis.  For Davis it was just his second appearance of the spring -- he has not allowed a run in 2 2/3 innings.  Sanches allowed a single and a walk in the seventh, an unearned scored that was charged to Davis.  Sanches returned for the eighth and allowed a two-out walk but kept Tampa off the board while striking out two.

Ryan Cameron kept the Devil Rays off the board in the bottom of the ninth.

No game today.  Toronto tomorrow night.

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