This suggests he could miss much or all of April.
That puts a dent in my efforts to guess who the hitters are who will start the year with the Phillies. You can see the post about my most recent guess, from the end of January, here.
Here’s how I thought the guys on the team and other candidates looked at that point:
|5||M Young||E Inciarte|
|11||D Young||P Orr|
I had guessed that Quintero and Frandsen would fill out the two remaining spots, assuming the Phils go into the year with 13 hitters.
Since then, in addition to the news that there’s a good chance Delmon Young will start the season on the DL, the Phillies have added Yuniesky Betancourt, who will be in camp as a non-roster invitee, and signed second baseman Matt Tolbert to a minor league deal.
Here’s how I think the locked up slots look now on the hitter side:
|5||M Young||H Quintero|
I moved Galvis and Delmon Young from the column on the left to the column on the right and added Betancourt to the list of candidates.
If those nine players are truly on the team and the Phils start the year with 13 hitters, that leaves them four open spots.
Of those four, one would have to be filled by a backup catcher and the other by someone who can backup short.
I still think Quintero beats out Lerud to be the backup catcher.
I’d also guess Galvis gets a roster spot to backup short, beating out competition for the job that would presumably include Betancourt, Blanco and Martinez.
I would still guess that one slot goes to Frandsen. Not sure the Phillies need him, but I’m guessing they were impressed with his .338 batting average from last year.
That leaves one slot. Of the 12 slots I’ve filled, four are filled with outfielders — Revere, Brown, Nix and Mayberry. If Delmon Young is healthy it seems clear to me that he’s the final guy. Based on what we read at the end of last week, it sounds like that’s not going to happen. I think that means that Ruf gets the final spot and starts the year with the team.
It seems like the key issue there is whether or not the Phillies truly believe that Mayberry can backup center field. As a Phillie fan, I don’t think you want to see Mayberry spend much more time playing center. I’d guess they will feel okay with that, though, and give the final spot to Ruf. If Revere gets hurt it’s going to be a big problem, but the Phils are, hopefully, going to need to solve it by acquiring or calling up another center fielder, not by giving Mayberry defensive innings there.
Anyway — four slots left based on my table above. My guesses are Galvis, Quintero, Frandsen and Ruf. That would give the Phillies 13 hitters — Kratz, Quintero, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Michael Young, Brown, Mayberry, Revere, Nix, Galvis, Frandsen and Ruf.
Michael Schwimer is still in the mix for the Phils, but I’m going be pretty surprised if we see him pitch a whole lot for the team in 2013.
This article reviews the backup catching options. Humberto Quintero is an elite defensive player — I think that’s why the Phillies acquired him and that’s why I think he’ll win the job. He’s a really bad hitter.
Freddy Galvis doesn’t care what people think of him.