Opening day draws nearer and while we’re still not sure who will be on the Phillies on Monday we have some more information about who won’t. Vic Darensbourg and Gary Knotts are gone, sent to minor league camps. Travis Blackley is out of the picture as well, offered back to the Giants. It leaves the Phils with 23 players who look to be locks to make the team and, assuming you don’t think Ray Olmedo is making the team, three, Wes Helms, Chris Snelling and JD Durbin the in-house candidates to fill the two remaining positions.

13 hitters: Howard, Utley, Rollins, Burrell, Victorino, Werth, Ruiz, Dobbs, Feliz, Coste, Bruntlett, Taguchi, Jenkins

10 pitchers: Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Kendrick, Eaton, Gordon, Madson, Romero, Condrey, Chad Durbin

Without a move, and you have to believe the chances that one is coming soon are big, JD Durbin gets the 11th pitching spot with the Phils carrying 14 hitters and Snelling or Helms making the team. That would be a brutal pitching staff, even with Lidge and Rosario likely to come off the DL soon and contribute. Six relievers, five of them righties and one of them JD Durbin, who would be very tough to put into a game given how terribly he has been pitching.

So maybe there’s more coming before Monday.

Let’s hope so at least.

Both this article and this article suggest that Snelling is more likely to take the 14th hitter spot than Helms if there is one.

Even if the Phils add a left-handed pitcher it will still be interesting what they do with JD Durbin. If they keep the new guy and JD Durbin it means no room for the 14th hitter. Durbin is out of options so they may lose him if they don’t. As bad as the Phillies’ pitching is, if it comes down to a decision about keeping Snelling or Durbin to start the season I think you have to hope it’s Snelling given how abysmally Durbin has been pitching.

The Phils fell to the Reds yesterday, losing Reds 5-3 to drop to 11-15 in spring training.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and was hit hard again. He went five innings, allowing five runs on ten hits and three walks. Only one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four and his ERA dropped to 9.68. In 17 2/3 innings this spring he has allowed 31 hits. Opponents are hitting .397 against him. After Kendrick’s departure, the Phils didn’t allow a hit in the final four innings of the game. Chad Durbin gave up two walks in two scoreless innings to lower his spring ERA to 5.25. JC Romero threw a perfect eighth and Madson lowered his ERA to 1.64 with a scoreless ninth. Madson walked one hitter.

Victorino was 2-for-4 and stole a base. He has his spring average up to .254. Jenkins was 1-for-4 with a double and three strikeouts. Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. Rollins was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .182.

The Phillies play the Yankees today.

Kris Benson did not opt out of his contract despite not being on the 40-man roster.

Blackley hit Curtis Granderson with a pitch on Saturday and broke his finger. The injury will cause Granderson to miss about two weeks of the season.

This article wonders if the Phils have a chance to set a team record for runs scored. They don’t. Their high mark was 944 in 1930. Forced to pick I would comfortably guess they will score fewer runs in 2008 than they did in 2007. At the same time I, and just about everyone else, was sure they were going to score less runs in 2007 than they did in 2006. I’m sure again.