As the Phillies opened spring training, I saw 22 guys as sure things to make the opening day roster. They were:


Hitters

Pitchers
1 Howard Hamels
2 Utley Myers
3 Rollins Kendrick
4 Burrell Moyer
5 Victorino Eaton
6 Werth Lidge
7 Ruiz Gordon
8 Feliz Madson
9 Jenkins Romero
10 Dobbs
11 Coste
12 Bruntlett
13 Taguchi

Of that group of hitters I think all 13 are still locks to be on the roster when the season begins. Taguchi is the only guy I question at all and he’s been on fire this spring, hitting 415/545/529 in 17 at-bats.

That’s a full roster of hitters unless the Phils go with 14.

Of the nine pitchers, Hamels, Kendrick, Eaton and Gordon have all struggled badly, but there’s close to zero chance Hamels and Gordon don’t start the season on the roster. As badly as he’s pitched, Kendrick’s hold on his spot in the rotation seems solid unless things get worse for him, which is pretty hard to imagine. If Eaton isn’t on the roster on opening day he’ll be on the DL. Romero has only thrown one official spring inning, Lidge none. Moyer, Madson and Myers have pitched well.

Eaton and Lidge both seem to be question marks for the opening day roster. Lidge because of the knee surgery and Eaton because of the back problems in combination with the 15.75 ERA (fourth best in the Phils rotation). I would guess that both still make the opening day roster. That leaves us with 22.

Just about everyone says that Chad Durbin is a lock for the tenth pitching slot. Here’s what Chad Durbin has done so far:

 

IP


ERA


Ratio

Chad Durbin

5.0

7.20

1.20

Opponents are hitting .286 against him, but if he really was in when spring training started I don’t think he’s pitched himself out. If he’s the tenth pitcher, that makes 23.

If the Phils are going to carry 14 hitters, the 14th will almost certainly be Helms or Snelling. Here’s what they have done so far:


Helms

5-for-23

217/280/261

Snelling

4-for-17

235/316/294

Helms has just been miserable. Snelling started camp as a longer shot than Helms and hasn’t been much better. At this point I would guess that Snelling is just about out of the picture with Helms still a possibility, especially depending on the injury status of Lidge and Eaton as the season begins.

If you assume that Chad Durbin is the tenth pitcher, Lidge and Eaton both start the year on the active roster and the Phils don’t carry a 14th hitter, that leaves two pitchers who would likely come from this group:

 

IP


ERA


Ratio
C Condrey 7.1 4.91 1.23
F Castro 7.0 5.14 1.43
JD Durbin 9.1 9.64 2.36
F Rosario 8.2 1.04 0.92
S Youman 6.2 5.40 1.65
T Blackley 7.2 8.22 1.70
G Knotts 3.0 0.00 1.00
V Darensbourg 4.0 2.25 1.00

If you think about the guys who have helped and hurt themselves the most since spring training began, I think you would have to say that Rosario is the guy who has opened the most eyes while JD Durbin and Blackley are the pair that came in with a real opportunity to make the team but have hurt their chances.

I still think the Phillies need a second lefty in their pen. I see them as needing one pitcher from the group of lefties (Castro, Youman, Blackley and Darensbourg) and one from the group of righties (Condrey, JD Durbin, Rosario and Knotts). Rosario is out of options and has been pitching great. I see him as the pick from the righties with Condrey close behind. The lefties are harder. In limited action, Darensbourg has been the least bad, but I think he came into camp as a long shot to win a roster spot. I don’t feel real comfortable about, but if I’m going to guess again I’d still take Castro. There’s also a good chance, as this article suggests, that the second lefty in the pen will be a player not currently in the organization.

That would make their opening day roster:

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, Rosario

My most recent guess was on February 13. I had JD Durbin as the last pitcher instead of Rosario.

Last night the Phils lost to the Reds 6-1 to fall to 4-10 in spring training.

Ryan Madson got the start for the Phils and went three innings, allowing a run on solo home run to Jerry Hairston. Madson walked one and allowed three hits. Castro was next and he allowed two runs on five hits over two runs. Both of the runs scored on a two-run homer by Scott Hatteberg. Blackley followed Castro and struck out five over three innings, but allowed two runs on two hits and two walks to puff his ERA to 8.22. Both of the runs he allowed came on a two-run shot by Craig Tatum. Condrey pitched the ninth and allowed a run on two hits.

Offensively the Phillies lineup featured basically all the Phillies regulars with Dobbs at DH. They scored one run on five hits, all singles, and a walk. Dobbs was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk. Utley was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts to drop his spring average to .214. Jayson Werth played center for the Phils, which is just great. I really hope the Phils see Werth as a viable option in center behind Victorino — he’s by far a better hitter than Taguchi or Bruntlett. I believe he can handle the position defensively. He doesn’t have a lot of innings there, but in the innings he’s played the numbers are good.

The Phils play the Reds again tonight.

The Phillies offered Lincoln Holdzkom back to the Red Sox, who refused him, making him a free agent. That may help create room on the 40-man roster for Benson, who can opt out of his contract on March 25 if he’s not on the roster.

This article says that 1) Lidge hopes to be able to pitch in a game next week 2) Eaton felt good in a bullpen session and will pitch in a minor league game on Saturday 3) Benson will throw in a minor league game today and 4) Hamels didn’t pitch in a minor league game yesterday because he has the flu.

Moyer will start the third game of the season for the Phils, Kendrick the fourth. Whether or not Kendrick can get anyone out is going to be a lot more interesting than whether he’s the third starter or the fourth.

This suggests that Kyle Lohse is being pursued by the Cardinals, Giants and Rangers. This suggests that Lohse may get a one-year deal worth less than $5 million. The Phillies have big problems with their pitching, in the rotation and in the pen. If they had an opportunity to sign Lohse to a one-year deal worth around $5 million and didn’t do it that would be really disappointing.