What’s the Move for Victorino?

Shane Victorino has completed his rehab assignment and will not play today in Double A Reading. He will be activated before tomorrow night’s game in Pittsburgh.

So whose spot is Victorino taking on the roster?

It seems to me there are five possibilities:

  1. Option John Mayberry Jr. It could be a numbers crunch for Mayberry. Defensively, he is the team’s second-best outfielder, but there are a few things working against him. First, he can be optioned. Second, he has hit just .187 with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs since April. (He has hit just .172 against left-handers in that stretch, which hurts his case to platoon in left or right field.) Third, his chances to play take a hit with Victorino back and Domonic Brown on the roster. Of course, Ben Francisco has struggled too. He has hit just .192 against left-handers this season, but here is the reality of the situation when comparing Mayberry and Francisco: Francisco is making $1.175 million. If Mayberry were outperforming Francisco then an argument could be made, but he’s not.
  2. Place Michael Martinez on waivers. He has hit just .184 with one double and three RBIs in 49 at-bats. It seems light-hitting utility players are a dime a dozen, but we know Martinez has one thing working in his favor: He is a Rule 5 Draft pick, so the Phillies risk losing him if they place him on waivers. Even if he clears waivers the Phillies have to offer him back to the Nationals before they can keep him. So what? In normal situations losing Martinez might not be a big deal, but Martinez also has something else working for him: Chase Utley. Charlie Manuel mentioned Utley’s health earlier this week when talking about this roster move. Can the Phillies afford to carry just one infielder on the roster with Utley’s knee in question? It’s possible, but risky.
  3. Carry 11 pitchers. This makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons, but the Phillies have thrown cold water on it. If everybody on the pitching staff is hitting their stride at the same time it could work, but the Phillies don’t feel comfortable with 11 for a few reasons: 1) Kyle Kendrick is starting Saturday and isn’t stretched out; 2) Roy Oswalt has pitched more than six innings just once in four starts back from the DL (although he was on his way Wednesday in DC before being removed for a pinch-hitter); 3) Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo have pitched quite a bit recently, and Rich Dubee wants to watch their workload; 4) Jose Contreras just returned from the DL.
  4. Place Ross Gload on the DL. Gload can’t run, or at least Manuel doesn’t feel like Gload can run. He also can’t play in the field. They could put him on the DL for a couple weeks to give them a little more time to make a decision. But Manuel wants a left-handed bat on the bench, and Gload said DL time won’t help his hip.
  5. Option Domonic Brown. Crazy talk. This team needs offense and in limited time he has produced. He should continue to get his shot.

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25 Comments

DL Gload. Only viable option – Mayberry is really the only back-up CF. By the way, who is the emergency catcher?

Pretty sure the emergency catcher is Wilson Valdez.

It was Pete Orr, but I have no idea who it is now. IMO, they should send Martinez back to the Nats to make room for Victorino. Keeping a rule 5 guy on the roster is a move for the future, but for the Phills, 2011 is an all in “must win this year” kind of year, and keeping Martinez on the roster does not help the team this year.

Martinez can play CF if Mayberry is optioned. Francisco could also be shifted over there if absolutely necessary. Only problem is that Martinez can’t hit the ball. If you DL Gload you have no power from the left side on the bench, although Gload doesn’t have an extra base hit yet this season.

I like Mayberry but some time in Lehigh Valley will help him in the long term. He’ll be able to play regularly and hopefully improve his strikeout rate.

Have you seen Martinez in CF? He’s awful. See the Mets game, and there was another game where a ball was hit towards him and he ran in on it… only problem was that the ball landed 30 feet behind him. Can’t judge a ball to save his life. Can’t hit to save his life. He can run, and thats the only thing going for him.

If I understand the Rule 5 waiver rule correctly, Martinez must spend 90 total non-September days on the active roster (read no DL). My count has him at 63 after today, needing 27 more days between now and August 31st. In theory, he could be stashed on the DL now and make up the 27 days between June 17th and August 31st or Gload on the DL push Martinez closer to 90 days.

DL Gload – he doesn’t have any pop and can’t run or field. Mayberry had great success early in the year as a PH. He can also PR, and be used as a defensive replacement.

@Rusty,
The Phillies can’t just place Martinez on the DL for no reason. Even if they make up some sort of vague BS reason like ‘leg soreness,’ it would be awfully suspicious and MLB could look into it and issue some sort of punishment if it deems the move inappropriate.

Last year the Mets put Ollie Perez on the DL when they couldn’t stand having him on the 25-man roster for a minute longer and there was a minor investigation into its legitimacy. Of course, he was so awful that it was easier to pretend that there was some sort of phantom arm soreness contributing to the fact.

While I realize what Todd says in option #1 precludes this from happening… and that the likelihood of this happening is somewhere between slim and none anyways; another scenario is to option Francisco to AAA. He still has options left surprisingly.

Not saying I think this will or even should happen, but I feel like it should at least be presented as a potential scenario… however unlikely it may be.

I don’t understand why people are pushing to DL Gload. Yes, he’s hurt, but DL’ing him won’t help, as Todd as pointed out, because it’s a nagging injury that is either play through it or have season-ending injury. Martinez is the clear candidate to go – do you think the Nationals, who have seen him play a handful of times, will magically want this waste of a roster space back? It’s not like we don’t have 2B options in AAA if we need them…. Belliard, Young, Barfield are ALL better than Martinez and ALL have experience in the OF as well. Martinez’s speed is about all there is, and even that can’t help him with that double play ball he couldn’t run out the other day in Washington (or New York)…

I wouldn’t include salaries in any discussion of roster moves. You have to pay these guys anyway, so you may as well put the best team on the field, regardless of whether a guy makes $1.175 million or the league minimum. Do you want to win games?
I can’t justify keeping a guy on the roster merely because of his salary when there may be a better player who I’d have to option. The Phillies’ decisions aren’t clear-cut, but nevertheless, I wouldn’t make any decision based on salary.

Carrying 11 pitchers is the best move but, as you say, they won’t do it. That’s kind of crazy, since three of the starters go deep almost every game and releasing Romero outright would be addition be subtraction, but it’s not going to happen.

That said, optioning Mayberry is, unfortunately, the best choice.

putting Gload on the DL would give more time to decide if keeping Brown, Mayberry, or Martinez on the roster is worthwhile, or to see if Oswalt can get back to carrying a lot of innings and we can carry 11 pitchers.

Instead, probably either Mayberry will be optioned or Martinez will be placed on waivers.

I agree with Gload. That leaves DB (L), Ibanez(L), Victorino(SW), Francisco(R), Mayberry(R), Martinez(SW) for outfield positions. Which really gives 4 lefty and 4 righty options. They can even spell Ibanez and still have a lefty off the bench. Gload can’t do anything in the field and I’m not a big fan of just having someone on the bench that can’t help elsewhere. Mayberry can also spell Howard and has played great in the field. If Valdez is spelling Utley then there is another Lefty off the bench.

Gload to the DL…no brainer. He needs time to rehab his hip anyway.

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My vote is to DL Gload. Even if in the off chance he gets a pinch hit, can he stay in the game to at least run? How can a hip problem not impede his ability to hit and drive the ball? Are we to believe him even if he says it does not? Lidge and Utley both claimed that there was nothing wrong with them until saner minds prevailed. Inquiring minds want to know if saner minds will prevail.

I’m not sure if Gload will “allow” the team to put him on the DL. This is something he could actually fight through the Players’ Union, if he wanted to. His injured hip won’t get better after a couple of weeks or months on the DL. He probably has the same injury that Raul and Chase had a few years ago. They struggled through the season with it and had surgery in the offseason. Anyway, if Gload is forced onto the DL, he would then eventually come back to the team, which would create the same roster problem that they now have. Plus if someone DID get injured while Gload was on the DL, who would fill in for the guy who leads MLB in pinch hits???

Everyone seems to be forgetting something–we have 13 pitchers on the roster, not 12. Valdez has been the best of all–and probably thrown more innings that Zagurski.

Dude, I don’t know what you were looking at but I just checked the roster and counted 12 pitchers.

He counted Valdez as one of the 13

I actually asked this question on one of the srticle threads a couple of days ago. I think Charlie likes Martinez’s athleticism and ability to play infield and outfield positions, so I don’t think Mikey will be put on waivers, though I think that would be the best choice available. Sending Domonic or Francisco back is plain stupid. I’m afraid Junior will be the odd man out because of the avaiable options.

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Number 1 is probably what is going to happen, though of the five choices this is the 3rd I’d pick. Personally I would just DL Gload for now and decide later, but if that’s not an option then I’d kiss Mini Mart goodbye.

If they decide to send Brown back down then I will have officially deemed Rube and Cholly clinically insane.

If Gload can’t run or play the field, it is ridiculous to keep him on the roster if they end up having to use two players if he gets a hit. I think Martinez is a waste of a roster spot but at least he can be a little more versatile than a gimp.

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