Postseason Roster Takes Shape

taschner 0930.jpgIt took longer than expected, but the regular season finally ended this afternoon when Paul Hoover scored John Mayberry Jr. in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 7-6 victory over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Onto the postseason …

The Phillies have off tomorrow and will hold a workout Tuesday before Game 1 against the Rockies at 2:37 p.m. Wednesday. (It could be Cole Hamels vs. Ubaldo Jimenez.) But there will be meetings and discussions about the postseason roster in the meantime. The Phillies do not need to submit their 25-man roster until 10 a.m. Wednesday, but there were clues and answers about it after the game:

  • Charlie Manuel said he might not take 12 pitchers. “I might go with 11,” he said. “I don’t know yet.”
  • Manuel could be thinking about 11 pitchers because Miguel Cairo has been playing well. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, home run and one RBI yesterday. He has hit .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBIs since he rejoined the team Aug. 29.
  • But before you start thinking Cairo could bump Eric Bruntlett, Manuel said he finds value in Bruntlett because he can play everywhere in the field, especially the outfield. The Phillies also consider him a better shortstop than Cairo. He can run, too. Bruntlett scored the winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the World Series. I don’t think it’s Bruntlett or Cairo. I think it’s Bruntlett and maybe Cairo, although I have been surprised before.
  • Manuel sounds like he likes left-hander J.A. Happ in the rotation because the Rockies have a lineup loaded with left-handers. Happ shutout the Rockies in August, which helps his cause. But the Phillies also might need Happ in the bullpen because Scott Eyre looks like the only other lefty in the pen. “I always have looked at (Happ) as a starter and his success this year has been as a starter,” Manuel said. “I’m not ready to reveal what we’re going to do yet because I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do.”
  • Left-hander Jack Taschner quietly cleaned out his locker. The Phillies told him he would not be needed. Taschner was not surprised, but was upset nonetheless. He went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances. The Phillies designated him for assignment earlier this season. He asked for his release, but the Phillies did not grant it. He pitched in the Minors and rejoined the team last week after suffering a back injury. He pitched just once. Taschner is salary arbitration eligible, but does not expect to be back next season. “I’m not going to say anything,” he told me. “What is done is done.” Ruben Amaro Jr. later told me, “As far as his future here, we haven’t made any decisions. It was a tough year for him. Frankly, I think because he struggled earlier in the year, it was one of the reasons why he didn’t pitch a lot because he didn’t perform at the level we would have liked. He was caught in a Catch 22. He didn’t pitch a lot, and when he did he wasn’t as effective. I like Jack a lot.” Taschner changed his mechanics in the Minors, which Amaro said could prove beneficial next season. If he is back.
  • Amaro also said while Taschner’s season is over, the Phillies have sent left-hander Sergio Escalona and Mayberry to Clearwater, Fla., to play in case they are needed.
  • Before Taschner cleared out his locker and before Amaro said Escalona was headed to Clearwater, Manuel said it would be tough to put Taschner, Escalona and left-hander Antonio Bastardo into big-game situations. I would surprised to see Bastardo to make the roster based simply off what Manuel said. “It’s kind of hard to put a young kid in there,” he said.
  • He said Brett Myers is ready to pitch in short bursts, but not multiple innings. Myers pronounced himself ready to go in back-to-back games. I expect him to be on the roster.
  • With Taschner, Escalona and most likely Bastardo out, that would leave Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Myers, Tyler Walker and Happ/Pedro Martinez as bullpen candidates.

*

Games 1 and 2 will be played at 2:37 p.m., which was not unexpected. Game 2 in Colorado will start at 9:37 p.m.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

19 Comments

2:37 is a ******** start time for a playoff game. I have a hunch it’s TBS’s fault, and for that and the fact that their HD program is just stretched-out SD, I say damn that network. I’m going to have to take a day off to go to the second game (managed to get SRO tickets)

Also as the regular season closes I just want to say thanks for the continuous stream of information, especially the enormously useful Twitter updates.

This team is as unsettled as they have been all season. The only way they can win is if their starters are stellar as a group and go deep in games.

Francisco doesn’t get the ‘last spot’. He’s an integral part of the team and the first righthanded bat off the bench.

Breaking down the 25 man playoff roster to see what the Phillies may do with who they select:

The solid ‘8’ – the regular season starters minus the pitchers that leaves 17 more players.

You need at least 3-4 solid starters: Hamels, Lee, Happ are three lefties.. you have a leftie blitz against them? How about Big Joe Blanton in the mix, and Happ to the bullpen? That’s 4 pitchers leaving 13 more positions.

The bullpen: Lidge, Madson, Eyre, Durbin, Condrey, Kendrick, and my surprise pick Pedro Martinez. That’s your bullpen with 7 and your at 11 total pitchers leaving just 6 more spots.

Pinch hitters/backups: Bako, Cairo, Brunlett, Dobbs, Stairs and one last spot going to Ben Francisco.

Notable not on ‘my’ list: Myers, Cairo. To add them one must take off either Dobbs or Stairs and they are both leftie ‘threats’ when you may need them.

Interesting to see what the final roster will be but I suspect it may be very close to the one I just posted here.

Rich @ fightinphillies.com

There is no way Myers gets left off the playoff roster, the way I see it. He’s more valuable than at least Cairo, Durbin, and Lidge (although Lidge will unfortunately be on the postseason roster no matter what).

phylan: In the grand scheme of TV, somebody has to get screwed. It just so happens, with the Sox and Yankees in the playoffs, Philly is the pick. I’ll be taking a day off work too, but a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day at work. Deal.

Otherwise, it cracks me up to see these prognostications about the roster. Why don’t you just wait until they decide? I don’t give a rat’s backside what “fightinphillies” thinks will be the final post season roster. The only opinion that matters is Charlie and Ruben. It’s just a lot of wasted time. Your opinion is meaningless.

I will have to Tivo the games and tell everyone at work not to give me updates. I was sick last week and missed 2 days, and I can’t afford to miss any more work. Thanks a lot, TBS! The network that thought that George Lopez was funny enough have his own late night show. Yikes! Good luck with that one.

You’re right muleman it’s silly of us to discuss the Phillies on this Phillies blog.

LOL!! You beat me to it, phylan.
From now on, we should refrain from having opinions about the state of the Phillies.

Status of Phillies: NL Easter division champions on their way to repeating as World F*ing Champions. Enough said!!

Man do I hope you’re right f_i_j but those Astros and Brewers series gave us plenty to be concerned about.

muleman you’re a joke. But not a funny one.

Starting pitching… I think it will go Lee/Hamels/Happ and then I’m not sure of Blanton or Pedro in Game 4. Bullpen will obviously and unfortunately be Madson to Lidge in a close game. Hopefully Lidge will be on a very short leash though.

I have stopped worrying about how the Phillies did since it was obvious that they were going to win the division no matter what (around Sept 15). Since then they have played lackluster ball, not really caring. Going down the “Stretch” eeryone was more concerned with setting rotations, getting people coming off the DL innings to shed rust and stretch arms, getting bench guys a few at bats so they’d be a bit warmer going into the post season etc. The win/loss record of this period didn’t matter to anyone. Neither did home field advantage, don’t kid yourselves. It’s been clear we weren’t going to catch the DOdgers, and weren’t going to loose to the Cardinals. Hopefully the pitchers are all ready to go. Happ or Pedro, Condrey or Durbin, Cairo on or off, who cares as long as we win. Deep breath and enjoy the ride everyone

While I share everyone’s enthusiasm, I think this series goes the distance. If our pitching is just so-so, as it has been lately, the Rockies swing some mean bats and will put up some runs, which means we have to get to our very ordinary bullpen. Add in that our offense has been pretty tame recently, and to me it adds up to a long series. Hope I’m wrong, but I’ll be the first to say I don’t see a parade in our future. But I’ll be thrilled to have you jump all over me if there is a romp down Broad Street.

Just to let you all know, and share my hapiness:

“Congratulations! As a result of winning your league playoffs, you have qualified for the Postseason Tournament.
A link to enter will appear here when the game opens the week of Oct. 5. :

Yes, the Flyin’ Hawain’s won their league in MLB.com’s fantasy game and are headed into the final round. I’ll be needing help on this people

zach: So nice to see Charlie Manuel posting as an alias here on the board. Another baseball genius heard from.

What cracks me up about you baseball experts is your matter-of-fact statements about rosters and such, and how your opinions are stated as fact. Check “fightinphillies” roster moves for an example. Then, he goes on to promote his blog as though we’re supposed to go over there and read more of his wisdom.
“Brunlett” and his “surprise pick” Martinez. Really.

That’s the joke.

muleman, I agree with you to a point. But what else is there to discuss?

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