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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Option Domonic Brown. Crazy talk. This team needs offense and in limited time he has produced. He should continue to get his shot.