If the Phillies had to play a game tomorrow I think the best guess would be that they’d have 13 hitters on their 25-man roster. Against a righty they would put Howard, Utley, Rollins, Dobbs, Burrell, Victorino, Jenkins and Ruiz on the field and have a five-man bench of Coste, Helms, Taguchi, Werth and Bruntlett.
In that scenario, here are the give guys on the bench for the Phillies and their career OPS against right-handed pitching:
Career OPS vs RHP
Five right-handed hitters. Two of them, Taguchi and Bruntlett are weak hitters who presumably will earn a roster spot primarily for their defensive abilities. Helms’ numbers against righties in just about every year of his career except 2006 are pretty miserable. I’d feel pretty good about seeing Coste pinch-hitting against a righty, but if Manuel only has two catchers on his roster I think fear of burning his last catcher would rob Coste of a lot of pinch-hitting opportunities. Werth is a good guy to have on your bench, but he’s still just a 249/342/408 hitter for his career against righties.
My point isn’t that this would be a disaster as a bench, but it would be a problem. I would guess if the Phils see those 13 guys as the hitters on the 25-man roster they would consider the lack of a lefty a problem as well. With players curently available it’s not clear to me what the solution is — I don’t think they can carry 14 hitters with such weak pitching overall.