Finding Bruntlett's Replacement
The Phillies have bigger fish to fry than finding Eric Bruntlett‘s replacement as the team’s utility player — they’re looking hard for a third baseman and bullpen help — but it certainly has its importance. It’s especially important because they have nobody in the system that can play shortstop for a significant stretch should something happen to Jimmy Rollins.
The Phillies recently removed Bruntlett, right-hander Tyler Walker, catcher Paul Hoover, infielder Andy Tracy and right-hander John Ennis from their 40-man roster. They have become free agents. Bruntlett and Walker will not be back next season, although Philadelphia contacted the agents for Hoover, Tracy and Ennis about possible returns.
Names to watch to replace Bruntlett are John McDonald, Omar Vizquel, Jamey Carroll, Ronnie Belliard and Juan Uribe. Miguel Cairo, who played for the Phillies in 2009, is a free agent and could be a possibility, but I think the Phillies probably would like to go elsewhere.
Bruntlett hit just .171 (18-for-105) with seven doubles, seven RBIs and two stolen bases in very limited action this season. Bruntlett hit a more respectable .217 in 2008, when he had 212 at-bats because of an ankle injury to Rollins in April and came in as a late defensive replacement for former left fielder Pat Burrell.
Bruntlett scored the winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the 2008 World Series, and is a good guy. Best of luck to him.