Tag: 2009 Phillies

2009 a third time

In mid-November, I took a guess at who would be on the Phillies roster when the 2009 season started. I did it again in mid-December. Since the post in mid-December:

  • It was announced that JC Romero will be suspended for the first fifty games of the 2009 season.
  • The Phillies signed 2B Marcus Giles to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

I still think there are nine guys on the team for opening day, including Pedro Feliz, recovering from back surgery, but not including Chase Ultey who is recovering from hip surgery:


Player

Position
1
Ryan Howard

1B
2
2B
3
Jimmy Rollins

SS
4
Pedro Feliz

3B
5
Shane Victorino

OF
6
Jayson Werth

OF
7
Raul Ibanez

OF
8
OF
9
Carlos Ruiz
C
10 C
11
Eric Bruntlett

UT
12
Greg Dobbs

3B/OF
13
UT
14

Utley is obviously on the team as well, but will probably start the season on the DL. That leaves four spots for position players, assuming the Phils carry 13 hitters and 12 pitchers to start the year.

Of the four remaining spots, one has to go to a second catcher behind Ruiz and one has to go to a fourth outfielder. Assuming Utley does not fill Utley’s spot, the third probably has to go someone who can play second base.

On the catcher spot, I still think Paulino is on the team. What I’m feeling a little less sure of as the days pass and the Phillies continue not to sign a right-handed hitter is that Paulino on the team makes it highly unlikely that Coste is not.

One of Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs takes the fourth outfielder spot. I still think it’s Jenkins and still think Stairs won’t be with the team when the season starts. Jenkins is far more useful as a defensive player and would be tougher to trade for the Phillies given his contract. I think there’s a chance the Phillies go into the season with four real outfielders on their team, with Bruntlett and maybe Dobbs getting some chances to fill in a little. If you’re going to have four real outfielders on the team I don’t think you have one of them be a 41-year-old Stairs just because I don’t think you can put him out in the field too often.

At second base if Utley’s not ready to go I see the candidates as Giles, Bruntlett, who’s on the team either way, and Jason Donald. The window where the Phillies would bring someone else in with a legitimate chance to compete for the position at this point seems like it’s at least closing. Bruntlett is the least exciting of those prospects. I’m going to guess that Giles proves to be the guy.

Chris Coste and Stairs appear to be the primary candidates to fill out the roster of the players currently on the team. Given how weak the Phillies are from the right side of the plate I see Coste as the winner if it comes down to those two. If Coste is still on the team I don’t think John Mayberry has much of a chance to win the spot. I think there’s a good chance that whoever takes the slot will prove to be the second-best right-handed hitter on the team behind Werth. The need for another right-handed hitter is huge, so my guess is still that the Phillies will bring in a right-handed hitter before the start of the season to be the thirteenth hitter.

Ten of the Phillies pitching spots are likely to be filled by these guys:


Player

Position
1
Cole Hamels (left)

SP
2
Brett Myers (right)

SP
3
Joe Blanton (right)

SP
4
Jamie Moyer (left)

SP
5
SP
6
Ryan Madson (right)
 RP
7
Chan Ho Park (right)

SP/RP
8
Clay Condrey (right)

RP
9
Scott Eyre (left)

RP
10
Chad Durbin (right)

RP
11  
RP
12
Brad Lidge (right)

CLOSER

Assuming the Phils carry 12 pitchers, that leaves two.

The battle for the fifth starter appears to include Chan Ho Park, JA Happ and Kyle Kendrick. Park is on the team either way, I think, it’s just a question of whether he’s pitching as part of the rotation or out of the pen.

The loss of Romero leaves the Phils with one lefty in the pen, Scott Eyre, and seems to give Happ’s chances of making the team a huge boost. I think one of the two remaining spots goes to Happ, either in the rotation or out of the pen.

Kendrick isn’t going to make the team to pitch out of the pen. So if Happ or Park does win the fifth starter job, it leaves a spot in the pen that would ideally go to a lefty. I don’t think the Phillies have one that fits the bill, though, so my guess is that it would probably be righties Mike Koplove and Gary Majewski as the front-runners batting for the final spot. Given the current options, though, it looks like the Phillies will go into spring training with an opportunity for a dark horse lefty to make the team as the second left-handed pitcher out of the pen.

There’s still a lot to be decided about how the Phillies pitching will round out, but at this point I’m going to guess it’s Happ (and Park) out of the pen and Kendrick as the fifth starter.

So here’s my overall guess at this point:

Hitters (13): Howard, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Paulino, Jenkins, Giles and a right-handed hitter not currently with the team.

Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Kendrick, Madson, Happ, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Park, Lidge.

JC Romero will be allowed to participate in the World Baseball Classic.

Interview with Doug Glanville at We Should Be GMs.

Ad: TicketCity has tickets to the Super Bowl.


2009 a second time

In mid-November I took a guess at who would be on the Phillies roster when the 2009 season started. A lot of things have happened since then, including:

  • Chase Utley had surgery on his right hip and will likely miss the start of the season. It’s unclear when he will be back at second base or who will be playing the position till he returns. We’re pretty sure it won’t be Nick Punto or Tad Iguchi. Probably won’t be Mark DeRosa, either.
  • Greg Golson, who had a slim chance to make the team to start the season, was traded for right-handed outfielder John Mayberry, who has a slimmer chance to make the team to start the season.
  • The Phillies signed veteran right-handed reliever Mike Koplove.
  • Jason Jaramillo was traded for right-handed catcher Ronny Paulino
  • Raul Ibanez was signed to a three-year contract and will presumably see the bulk of the time in left field.
  • Right-handed pitcher Robert Mosebach was acquired in the Rule 5 draft.
  • The Phils signed right-handed pitcher Chan Ho Park to a one-year contract.
  • They also signed Jamie Moyer to a two-year contract.

I think there are nine hitters you have to assume are on the team at this point.


Player

Position
1
Ryan Howard

1B
2
2B
3
Jimmy Rollins

SS
4
Pedro Feliz

3B
5
Shane Victorino

OF
6
Jayson Werth

OF
7
Raul Ibanez

OF
8
OF
9
Carlos Ruiz
C
10 C
11
Eric Bruntlett

UT
12
Greg Dobbs

3B/OF
13
UT
14

Utley is obviously on the team as well, but will probably start the season on the DL. That leaves four spots for position players, assuming the Phils carry 13 hitters and 12 pitchers to start the year.

First spot is second catcher along with Ruiz. I think Paulino is a far better bet to take that spot than Coste. It now seems clear the Marson will start the year in the minors.

The Phillies definitely need to give one of the other three spots to an outfielder, almost surely Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs, to fill out an outfield that will feature Victorino in center, Werth in right and Ibanez in left. I still don’t believe the Phillies can carry all three of Jenkins, Stairs and Dobbs — that seems especially true now that the left-handed bat of Ibanez looks like it will be a fixture in the lineup till we’ve been saying “Yeah he can hit but he really needs to go to the AL where he can DH” about him for about a year and a half. I still guess the fourth outfielder spot goes to Jenkins.

That leaves two — the 2B spot that is open with Utley on the DL and another spot on the bench. At least one of those spaces needs to go to a right-handed hitter, and the options in the organization right now are not exciting. I would have to guess that Coste, Mike Cevernak and Mayberry would be the lead candidates. Matt Stairs is not right-handed, but you’d have to think he’d get some consideration anyway given the possibilities. I think Coste would get the spot if it came down to those four — more likely, though, it seems that the Phillies will add a veteran right-handed bat before the season starts.

And then there’s the Utley second base spot. Jason Donald, Brad Harman, veteran not on the team or letting Bruntlett handle the job while Utley was out look like the four main candidates there. Harman hit 210/280/366 at Double-A last year, so I don’t think he’s going to be an attractive option. Donald comes off a monster year in the minors and the AFL, but I would guess the Phils let him play in the minors again in 2009. I don’t think Bruntlett can hit right-handed pitching well enough to play regularly at second base, but I think the big question for the Phillies will be how much time Utley is going to miss. If the Phillies believe Utley is going to miss a small number of games, Bruntlett would almost surely get the call. Ideally for the Phils the right-handed hitter they bring in to fill the bench slot above could play second. Without much information about how long Utley is going to be out, I’ll still go with yet another right-handed veteran in this slot to fill out the hitting roster. It would mean the Phils would be in a bind when Utley returned — Utley plus two right-handed veteran bats gives them 14 hitters, which they probably won’t carry. You can see why DeRosa was so attractive to the Phillies as he fills the need for the big right-handed bat and the guy who can play second base. There aren’t a lot of guys like that out there.

Ten of the Phillies pitching spots are likely to be filled by these guys:


Player

Position
1
Cole Hamels (left)

SP
2
Brett Myers (right)

SP
3
Joe Blanton (right)

SP
4
Jamie Moyer (left)

SP
5
SP
6
Ryan Madson (right)
 RP
7
JC Romero (left)

RP
8
Clay Condrey (right)

RP
9
Scott Eyre (left)

RP
10
Chad Durbin (right)

RP
11  
RP
12
Brad Lidge (right)

CLOSER

Assuming the Phils carry 12 pitchers, that leaves two.

With the signing of Moyer yesterday, the Phillies have one spot left in the rotation. Chan Ho Park’s early quotes seem to suggest he’ll be in the mix to win the job. He would presumably be competing with a group that included JA Happ and Kyle Kendrick as the front-runners for fifth starter. I don’t think Carlos Carrasco or Adam Eaton are realistic candidates. Kendrick and Happ may have to outpitch Park in spring training to win the job as fifth starter, but that might not be that hard for them to do. I’m still guessing Kendrick, but I think it’s very close between those three for the fifth starter job.

Park’s likely on the team whether he’s in the rotation or not — I think it’s just a question of whether he’s a starter or the veteran righty in the bullpen. The last bullpen spot needs to go to a righty. I think it will be Park, but if it’s not it may be Koplove battling all the right-handed relievers in the world that currently aren’t on the Phillies to make the team.

Hitters (13): Howard, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Paulino, Jenkins and two right-handed hitters currently not with the team.

Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Kendrick, Madson, Romero, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Park, Lidge.

This suggests Utley could be ready for opening day.

The Phillies signed Jamie Moyer to a two-year deal worth $13 million. Chan Ho Park was also signed to a one-year deal. Glad to see Moyer back — I think the Phillies won that one as I was expecting Moyer to get more than $13 million. But . . . this says that Moyer will make $20 million over the two years if he throws at least 190 innings and makes 31 starts in each season. Moyer has thrown at least 190 innings and made at least 31 starts in each of the last eight seasons.

The Phillies needed a right-handed pitcher and they got one, but I think Chan Ho Park’s numbers in a Phillie uniform might be ugly in 2009.

I am tracking my guess as to who will be part of the 2009 Phillies here.


2009 on the mind

Back to the managers soon.

I put up the 2009 Phillies page, where I will track my best guess at who will be on the ’09 squad.

It looks to me like there are seven spots open for next year, three for pitchers and four for hitters.

Of the pitcher’s spots, two are in the starting rotation behind Hamels, Myers and Blanton. Jamie Moyer looks like a good bet to take one of them. I would still call Kendrick the front-runner for the #5 spot, with Happ behind him and Eaton way, way behind both of them.

The other spot appears to be for a right-handed relief pitcher. Romero and Eyre look likely to handle the left-handed duties, joining righties Lidge, Madson, Condrey and Durbin in the pen. That leaves one spot, and I’m guessing it goes to a righty veteran reliever not currently with the organization. It could be Gordon or Seanez, but I would still go with field as a better guess at this point.

The bigger questions are with the offense. I think there’s a good chance the Phils will bring back Burrell. They should try and I think they will. His absence would leave a huge gap in the lineup, leaving Werth as the best right-handed hitter on the team. Werth is great, but the second-best right-handed hitter on the team would be Feliz, which is not great. Again, we’ll have to cut Feliz at least a little break what with winning the World Series and whatnot.

The emergence of Werth as an everyday player has created a problem for the Phillies with a lack of right-handed options off the bench. They went out of their way to demonstrate this by starting Chris Coste as their DH in the World Series. I think you can argue that the Phillies need two right-handed hitters, a big one, like Burrell, to play left, and another to backup the outfield and hit off the bench. The Phillies had a problem with not having enough right-handed hitters last year and that was with Burrell.

The Phillies either need Burrell back or they need a big right-handed bat in his place. Might as well just make it Burrell. I would be surprised if they traded for or signed an expensive right-handed free agent to play left field that wasn’t Burrell. My guess is that one of the four remaining offensive slots will be taken either by Burrell or a cheap right-handed hitter who can play left field and will play often.

That leaves three spots — one catcher spot behind Ruiz, one more outfielder and another bench spot that will probably be taken by a fifth outfielder.

With Victorino, Werth and Burrell (or his replacement) in the outfield, the Phillies don’t look like they have room for all of Stairs, Jenkins and Golson. I think a disaster scenario for the Phils is one where they trade Victorino to let Golson play regularly in center field. Golson needs to be a fifth outfield if he’s on the team in ’09 — if he is on the roster I think he will be. A less disastrous scenario in my mind is trading Victorino and letting Werth play center regularly with Golson backing him up. That plan is still a bit worrisome as it’s not a lot of backup for Werth, who still has limited experience playing every day. It would mean that Golson would probably get a job backing him up, but he wouldn’t have much of an organizational net behind him.

Werth can play center, though, well enough to be there regularly if the Phils had the hitters to man the corner outfield spots.

I would guess that the Phils will not start ’09 with both Stairs and Jenkins on the team. Dobbs, Stairs and Jenkins is too many left-handed hitters coming off of the bench, especially given that Stairs and Dobbs are hard to use defensively. I’d guess they trade Stairs given that he’s cheaper and more tradable. I have Jenkins penciled in as the fourth outfielder, giving them Victorino, Werth, Jenkins and Burrell or cheap right-handed free agent.

I hope in 2009 we will see Dobbs’ role expand to include signficant time in the outfield against right-handed pitching.

Jenkins and Burrell are two of the four spots. Leaves one bench spot and a catcher.

Ruiz is surely coming back, but I feel much less sure about Coste. The in-house options for second catcher along with Ruiz include Coste, Jason Jaramillo and Lou Marson. Jaramillo was not especially impressive at Triple-A last year and Marson was at Double-A. Marson is 22, Jaramillo is 26. Some people think 19-year-old Travis D’Arnaud is going to be better than both of them, although there’s about zero chance you’ll see him next year. My guesses are 1) that the Phillies would only put Jaramillo or Marson on the 25-man roster to start the season if it was as a third catcher and 2) if they did it would be Jaramillo and not Marson. You have to believe that Jaramillo could be had in a trade if people really think he’s a potential regular player. Here’s what I think is likely for the Phils at catcher at this point, in order of likelihood 1) they sign a veteran catcher to share duties with Ruiz 2) Coste and Ruiz 3) Ruiz, Coste (or veteran catcher) plus Jaramillo 4) Ruiz plus Jaramillo.

The addition of the second catcher leaves one spot on the roster, which could be taken by a fifth outfielder, a third catcher or a pitcher. I think you can assume that Bruntlett will handle the utility role. 23-year-old Brad Harman is coming, but I don’t think it’s yet. This spot may go to Golson, but I don’t think it should. I’d go with a right-handed hitter here that can also play a corner outfield position — a part-time player that’s probably not currently in the organization.

Here’s my guess then at this point as to who will be on the 25-man roster when the ’09 season starts:

Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Kendrick, Lidge, Madson, Durbin, Condrey, Romero, Eyre and a veteran right-handed relief pitcher that is currently not with the organization.

Hitters (13): Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ruiz, Burrell, Victorino, Werth, Jenkins, Bruntlett, Dobbs, veteran catcher not currently with the team, veteran right-handed corner outfielder not currently with the team.


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