Durbin, Polanco and Other Odds and Ends
Tonight is the Philadelphia Sportswriter Association banquet in Cherry Hill. Ruben Amaro Jr., Roy Halladay, Shane Victorino and Charlie Manuel are in attendance. The four spoke before the dinner and ceremonies.
Here are a few highlights from Amaro, who talked about the makeup of the team:
- On the door being closed on Chad Durbin, who remains a free agent: “I would say that we’re probably not going to resign him.” Amaro does not appear to be bluffing, either. Amaro said the Phillies could carry 11 or 12 pitchers in the bullpen. They have a healthy handful of pitchers who should be able to fill out those one or two open spots. And remember, if Joe Blanton remains with the team and everybody in the rotation is healthy to open the season, Kyle Kendrick could take Durbin’s role.
- On if he has any offers on the table to any remaining free agents: “No. Right now, like I’ve said before, I think we’re pretty comfortable with where we are coming into spring. We have some decisions to make. But I think that we’re — I never like to say we’re pretty well set — but I think we kind of have to go with what we’ve got and start to make assessments as to what we may need as we go through the spring. It will be interesting to see some of the competition. We’ve talked about the right field situation and the bench and also the bullpen, and those are kind of the three things that I’m curious to see how they shake out there. I think we’ll have competition in all three of those areas.”
- On his confidence of getting a contract with Charlie Manuel, who is entering the final year of his deal: “We’ve been working at Charlie’s contract since December. We’re hoping we can get something done. And just like any other negotiation we like to keep it quiet. But I think Charlie knows exactly how we feel about him. We know how he feels about us. Hopefully we can continue the relationship.”
- On Placido Polanco, who had offseason surgery on his left elbow: “He’s fine. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary. He should be 100 percent.”
- On if this is the best team he has taken to Spring Training: “I guess on paper it probably is just because of the pitching. As I’ve said before, acquring pitching is pretty tough. And for us to have the starting pitching, at least on paper, those projected five guys are as good a pitching staff as I think we’ve ever had. At least since I’ve been here.”
- On the fifth starter: “Right now it’s Joe.”
- On if it’s an open competition in right field: “Oh, yeah. Oh, it’s open. Wide open.”
- He repeated he is not looking for a right-handed bat at this time.
- He repeated he is not looking for middle relief at this time.
- It’s official. The Phillies have signed Jason Grilli to a Minor League deal. He will not be in big-league camp.
I’ve got a new Facebook page, where I’ll post stories, blogs, thoughts, etc. Check it out here. If you’re a friend on my other Facebook page make sure to switch over because that page is going bye-bye very soon. Follow me on Twitter, too.