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March 29 2007

The Phillies made more moves yesterday, but the opening day roster is not yet settled and probably won't be till Sunday.  Karim Garcia was released and Jim Ed Warden is headed back to Cleveland.

Here's my take on how things are looking.  Players that look like they are at risk to start the season on the DL are in red.


Hitters Pitchers
1 R Howard 1 J Lieber
2 C Utley 2 B Myers
3 J Rollins 3 F Garcia
4 W Helms 4 J Moyer
5 A Nunez 5 C Hamels
6 P Burrell 6 A Eaton
7 A Rowand 7 T Gordon
8 S Victorino 8 G Geary
9 J Werth 9 R Madson
10 R Barajas 10 M Smith
11 C Ruiz 11
12 G Dobbs 12
Coste Alfonseca
Bourn Condrey

I can't imagine the Phils would go into the season with Werth as their second catcher if Ruiz starts the season on the DL.  If Ruiz was on the DL to start the season and Coste could not play you'd think they would have to carry Jaramillo or one of the other organization's catchers.  You keep hearing about Ruiz playing in minor league games as a designated hitter, but the Phillies are going to need him to be able to throw effectively.

With the personnel that the team has available to them today I think you have to put both Alfonseca and Condrey in the pen.  If one of Garcia and Lieber start the season on the DL, which looks to be a sure thing, it seems that Segovia would start the year with the team.  If both of them do I have no idea what would happen.  Happ?  Bisenius (who has already been told he's not making the team)?  14 hitters?

The Phillies still have just one lefty in their pen, which has to be something they are looking to address soon.  If the Phillies bullpen on opening day is Gordon, Geary, Madson, Smith, Condrey, Alfonseca and pitcher X, who are the guys you feel comfortable about when he takes the hill?  Geary?  Gordon?  Whatever the answer if for you, it's probably a short list.  For me the list of guys I'd be worried about is longer than the guys I wouldn't. 

With the personnel the Phillies have today, the bench on opening day could be Nunez, Werth, Ruiz, Dobbs and Bourn.  That's weak.

I answered some questions from Mike at Mike's Mets as part of our Q&A exchange.

This article offers a critique of Burrell's swing on a pitch he hit for a home run.

This article says that Garcia will probably start the year on the DL.  Assuming Lieber does too it means even if the Phillies carry Alfonseca, Condrey and Segovia they still need one more pitcher if they're going to get to 12.  It also suggests the Phillies may start the season with 24 active players, which seems unlikely to me.

This article says that Joe Bisenius is still not an option for the Phils to start the season.  In the same article Brett Myers expresses his displeasure at the Devil Rays after being hit by a pitch yesterday.

This article says that Chris Coste will avoid the DL and be with the team for the start of the season.  Coste, Ruiz, Dobbs and Bourn aren't likely to all be on the 25-man roster unless the Phils carry 11 pitchers.  That seems like a reasonable scenario to me unless the Phils add a pitcher from outside of the organization soon.

It looks like Ryan Madson may be the setup man for Gordon to start the season.

This article mentions White Sox lefty Matt Thornton as possible bounty in a Rowand trade.  The Phillies need a lefty and could arguably use Thornton more than his teammate Mike MacDougal.

The Phillies beat the Devil Rays yesterday, winning 9-2 to improve to 11-16 on the spring.  The Phils have turned things around nicely towards the end of spring and have won three of their last four.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phils and was fabulous.  He went six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out seven.  All three of the hits he allowed were doubles.

Wes Helms put the Phils up 1-0 with an RBI-double in the bottom of the third.  He was 2-for-4 on the day and is hitting .377.

Greg Dobbs had a two-run double in the fifth.  Dobbs was 1-for-2 and is hitting .393.  Jayson Werth hit his second home run of the spring in the sixth, his second.  He was 1-for-4 on the day and left six men on base.

Abraham Nunez had a two-run double in the eighth.  He was 2-for-4 to raise his spring average to .273.

Jason Jaramillo got five at-bats in the game and went 2-for-5.

Clay Condrey started the seventh with the Phillies up 6-0.  Single, ground out, RBI-double got Tampa Bay on the board at 6-1 and two batters later a Dustin Mohr single brought in the second run of the inning.  Condrey returned for the eighth and set the Devil Rays down 1-2-3.  On the day he allowed two runs on three hits over two innings, raising his spring ERA to 4.97.

Joe Bisenius pitched the ninth and got the first two men before he allowed a double and a single that moved the runner to third.  He struck out Mohr to end the game and dropped his ERA to 1.64 with the scoreless frame.

The Phillies play the Pirates this afternoon and return to Philadelphia after the game.

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