Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow. Here’s how I see the Phils’ roster shaping up as we head into spring training.
Among the hitters, these are the guys I see as 100% to make the team:
And just behind them, almost sure things to make the team, I’d have
Bruntlett is just about the only option to backup short and second. Dobbs has big appeal as a left-handed bat.
I think Chris Coste almost assuredly makes the team.
The only other choice for the second catcher looks like it’s Jaramillo. I think the Phils are wary of Coste behind the plate, but I think he still gets the nod over the 25-year-old Jaramillo.
Assuming the Phils carry 12 pitchers, that leaves one spot for these three guys and I think you have to assume they go with Taguchi because of his defense.
I’m assuming that Helms gets traded. If he doesn’t I think he’s on the team, even if it means the Phils have to carry 14 hitters. If the Phils pick their final hitter from those three players I’m hoping for Helms or Snelling, but I think if the Phils go with 13 hitters the last would be Taguchi as the fifth outfielder.
I would be surprised if any other hitter wound up on the roster to start the season.
The pitching side is far more wide open. I see eight guys as hundred percenters for 12 pitching spots:
Four starters and four relievers.
Unless the Phillies add Kyle Lohse my guess is that Eaton is the fifth starter. It sounds as if the chances are good that the Phils are about to add Kris Benson, so his competition for the role may include Benson, Chad Durbin, Blackley, JD Durbin and Outman. I don’t think there’s much of a chance Eaton starts the season in the pen, so it’s either the rotation or the DL. I think it’s the rotation.
I also think the Chad Durbin will make the team, pitching out of the pen to start the year.
10. Chad Durbin
After that things get pretty fuzzy.
The Phils have one lefty in the pen in Romero. I think they need another from the group of Happ, Blackley, Smith, Zagurski, Youman, Outman, Darensbourg, Mazone, Savery and Castro. An article linked below says that Smith won’t compete for a job this spring and Zagurski isn’t a hundred percent. I see Castro and Youman as the primary candidates with Blackley, Outman, Darensbourg and Happ behind them — don’t have a strong feeling but I’ll take Castro.
If the Phils go with 14 hitters, that’s a full roster. If the go with 13 hitters and another pitcher, barring an addition the pitcher seems sure to come from this list:
I see everyone on that list below Mathieson as a real long shot. Honestly it’s not a real exciting list. I would love to see Outman win a spot but I think there’s some guys who go in with at least a slightly better chance. The Phils gave JD Durbin, Rosario and Condrey innings last season so I think you have to look at them as having a leg up on the other guys as camp opens.
The last spot or spots in the pen is wide open. If I had to guess now I’d go with JD Durbin.
That makes my final guess the day before pitchers and catchers are due to report this:
Hitters (13): Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Burrell, Victorino, Jenkins, Werth, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Coste, Taguchi
Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Moyer, Gordon, Lidge, Madson, Romero, Eaton, Chad Durbin, Castro, JD Durbin
This article says that Scott Mathieson has had discomfort in his pitching elbow. That is not good news.
The article linked above also says that there will be a resolution regarding Benson soon, within 24 to 48 hours.
In this article Gillick talks about the possibility of carrying 14 hitters, the 14th of which would presumably be Helms or Snelling. He also says that if the Phils did go with 11 pitchers they would need to make sure that the last guys they add in the pen are capable of pitching more than one inning. I’d really like the Phils to carry Snelling, but if they do I hope it’s in place of Taguchi and not as a sixth outfielder.
This article suggests that Eaton’s problems last season may have been compounded by personal issues as well as physical ones. No doubt there’s nothing wrong with him that can’t be helped by Manuel saying stuff like he has to “show the reason why we got him.”