A word or two on the outfield depth of the Phillies as the team is currently constructed. I’m going to go with two words actually, not and good.
The Phillies front office is probably hard at work trying to add another outfielder. And well they should be. Here’s a brief review of the Phillies depth in the outfield:
Things start out really well with Ibanez, Victorino and Werth. Very nice. Things go downhill from there. Fourth outfielder: Matt Stairs? Fifth outfielder: Eric Bruntlett? Sixth outfielder: Who knows? John Mayberry?
Fourth outfielder is the biggest problem there. Matt Stairs is 41-years-old and made 19 appearances in the outfield last season. He’s not a good defensive player. Right now it sure looks like he’s the guy if Ibanez or Werth go down.
Eric Bruntlett is really a backup infielder and has a whole lot of problems hitting righties, to the tune of a career 221/286/310 line against right-handed pitching. He made more appearances at corner outfield positions last year for the Phillies than he had in all the other years of his career combined.
Who is third on the depth chart at center field behind Victorino and Werth is an interesting question. Whatever the answer is, it’s not good. I think it’s probably Bruntlett.
Who knows who’s behind those two as the sixth outfielder, but Mayberry is presumably up near the top of the list. In the minors he’s hit to a .255 average with a .330 on-base percentage in his career.
And then there’s Werth, who was absolutely fantastic last season and played an enormous part in helping the Phillies win the World Series. Hopefully he’ll be fantastic again. But. Here’s some thing it would be nice if they weren’t true about him, given that Matt Stairs is the fourth outfielder and whatnot: Number of times he’s gotten 400 plate appearances in a season: 1. Number of times he’s hit 20 home runs in a season: 1. Career batting average against right-handed pitching: .251. Number of times he’s driven in 70 runs in a season: 0.
So I think the Phillies need another outfielder, which is why paying Jenkins not to play seems pretty odd.
The consensus seems to be that Happ and Taschner will likely win the last two spots in the Phillies pen. That would give the Phils these 12 pitchers to start the season: Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Park, Lidge, Madson, Durbin, Eyre, Condrey, Happ and Taschner.
My guess on the hitters is these 13: Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Dobbs, Coste, Ruiz, Ibanez, Bruntlett, Victorino, Werth, Stairs and Cairo with a good chance that the Phils bring in another hitter in the Cairo spot either before opening day or shortly after the season starts.
Mosebach was sent back to the Angels.
The Phils fell to the Yankees today, losing 8-5.
Kyle Drabeck got the start for the Phils and allowed five runs over 2 1/3 innings. More importantly, Happ followed Drabeck and was also hit hard. Happ allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings on four hits and two walks. Hideki Matsui clubbed a two-run shot off of him in the fourth. Koplove threw a scoreless seventh to drop his ERA to 0.96. Eyre got his down to 6.30 with a scoreless eighth.
Werth was 1-for-2 with a walk and his sixth home run of the spring. Coste was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .133. Cairo is hitting .250 after going 0-for-4 with a walk. Rollins is hot at a good time. He went 2-for-3 with a double and is hitting .355.
The Phils play Washington tomorrow in their final game in Florida. They play the Devil Rays in Philadelphia on Friday night.
Update 4/2: Andruw Jones has likely made the Rangers, making it less likely he’ll be on the Phillies.