Today’s guess on who might start the year with the Phillies. And yeah, it’s a lot different from the last one.
Here are the hitters:
Changes since the January post are the removals of Utley and Valdez and the addition of Galvis.
It seems likely at this point that Utley, Howard and Martinez will start the year on the DL. It’s a little less clear where Domonic Brown will be, but as much as the Phillies need his bat my guess he’ll be somewhere learning how to catch fly balls.
One hitting spot needs to be filled by a backup infielder who can play short. If Rollins and Galvis both start, the Phils have nobody on the bench who can play shortstop. Polanco seems like he would be the choice in an emergency, but I’m guessing that wouldn’t take long to get real ugly. Pete Orr and Hector Luna are the players the Phillies have currently who could make the base case for being the utility guy, but both seem like they would be hard to carry if they can’t play shortstop.
Anyway, assuming 13 hitters, one of the two remaining spots will be taken by a utility guy. My guess is the Phils add one from outside the organization and it’s Pete Orr if they don’t.
The utility guy, could, of course, turn into the starting second baseman. That would presumably mean Galvis or Orr as the utility guy, advantage Galvis cause he can play short.
That leaves one hitter slot and I’m guessing Juan Pierre will take it, despite the fact that Lou Montanez and Scott Podsednik have both outplayed Pierre to this point in Spring Training. I think the Phils would be better off giving that spot to someone else, Brown or Podsednik especially. I don’t think they will. Brown is obviously the best choice offensively, but he has put the Phils in a tough spot by playing defense so awful it’s hard to put him on the field.
Here are the pitchers:
Herndon, Willis and Contreras are off that list from the previous version. Contreras surely has a spot if he does not start the year on the DL.
My guess is that Herndon would start the year in the pen if Contreras were on the DL and might even if Contreras did not.
Still no second lefty in the pen, what with Willis blowing up and being released. Raul Valdes looks to me like he should have a legit shot, though, having pitched very well in Spring Training so far. Joe Savery and Jake Diekman have also pitched well so far, but I’d guess they both start the year down.
Anyway, at this point my guess would be that the Phils carry 12 pitchers to start the year — the ten above plus two of Contreras, Herndon and Valdes. If I have to guess two I would go Herndon and Valdes with Contreras on the DL.
Injury roundup here.
Contreras is expected to pitch this afternoon as the Phils face Toronto.