Pierre Makes Team, Podsednik on Bubble

Phillies outfielder Juan Pierre has his spot on the Opening Day roster.

Scott Podsednik does not, and he does not think he will.

The Phillies had until noon tomorrow to inform Pierre if he had made the 25-man roster, but they told him he made the team following today’s 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay at Bright House Field. If Pierre had not made the roster he could have asked for his release. But Pierre, who is hitting .313 (15-for-48) with one double and two RBIs in 23 Grapefruit League games, showed the Phillies enough to convince them to keep him at $800,000.

“We definitely feel like Juan can help us,” Charlie Manuel said. “I look at where he could fit in some of the lineups we could use, and he’s done a little bit of everything in the game. He’s been a bench player. He’s been a regular for a long time. Last couple of years, he has a lot of at-bats in the big leagues.”

The Phillies insisted this does not mean Podsednik, who is hitting .347 (17-for-49) with five doubles, one home run and two RBIs in 26 games, will not make the team, although he signed a Minor League contract, which means he is contractually obligated to open the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley if the Phillies request it. Podsednik said he would accept his assignment to Lehigh Valley, depending on the situation. But other than retirement his only way out of it would be if the Phillies granted him his release.

They are not obligated to release him until June 1, according to his contract.

Podsednik spoke to Ruben Amaro Jr. after the game.

Asked if he liked his chances to still make the team, Podsednik said, “Ah, no. No.”

Why?

“You’ll have to talk with Ruben about that,” he said. “I can’t tell you how this 25-man roster is going to shake out. I have no idea.”

But he does not feel good about his chances?

“Um, no,” he said. “No, they’re not looking too good.”

Podsednik is caught in a numbers game. If the Phillies carry 12 pitchers, they only have one available bench job, and that seems likely to go to Pete Orr because they need a utility infielder, although Hector Luna could get the nod because he also plays in the infield. If the Phillies carry 11 pitchers, two of those three could make the team. (The Phillies told outfielder Luis Montanez he will not make the Opening Day roster, although he will remain in big-league camp for now.) Podsednik and Pierre are similar players, so the Phillies could go with Luna, who gives them a right-handed bat with some power.

Luna is hitting .302 (13-for-43) with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs in 25 games. Manuel has been enamored with him lately, possibly indicating he will push for him.

Asked if having Pierre and Podsednik on the team makes the Phillies too heavily left-handed on the bench, Amaro said, “If we were worried about those guys hitting lefthanders, but they’re both pretty good against lefthanders.”

Pierre is a career .305 hitter against left-handers, while Podsednik is a career .270 hitters against lefties.

Of course, the Phillies could find somebody from outside the organization to round out the bench. But for now Pierre is on.

The Phillies have until 5 p.m. April 4 to finalize the rest of their roster.

*

Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
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  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

12 Comments

I hope they put Podsednik on the 40 man roster….

its a shame that contract situation and not talent will be the deciding factor in the pierre/podsednik decision. pods has clearly outplayed pierre.

Here’s an idea: Dump Nix and put Podsednik on the roster. He strikes out more than Ryan ever did.

I guess when Pierre is playing left field, Jimmy will have to run 50 feet beyond the infield dirt in order to cut off one of Pierre’s throws. Ideally, the Phils would have both guys on the roster, but the three Mendoza Brothers (Junior, Ty, and Laynce) are guaranteed spots. Nix hasn’t even hit ONE HR!!! Only an idiot would put him on the roster just because of his contract money! The Phils have wasted a lot more on much better players who didn’t perform up to their contract. A few million bucks is a drop in the proverbial bucket.

Player Name….AB…R…H…2B…3B…HR…RBI…BB…SO…AVG…OBP…SLG…OPS.
Mayberry……….69….5…13…4……0…..0…….8……5…..10….188…..243….246…..490
Wiggington…….55….2…11…4……0…..0…….5……5……9…..200…..274….273…..547
Nix (Knicks?)….43….5….8….1……0…..0…….2……6…..11….186…..300….209…..509

Normally, I don’t post stats here, but these numbers are incredibly bad. These are the guys who Charlie planned to platoon at firstbase and in leftfield!! Meanwhile these guys don’t make the roster:
Podsednik…….49….8….17….5…..0…..1……..2…..4……8……347….407….510….918
Montanez……..48….8….16….4…..0…..1……..6…..4……7……333….377….479….857

Dropping Nix and adding Podsednik is what they should do, but can Ruben admit signing Nix was a dumb idea? I doubt it.

Nix is very unimpressive but clearly he gives you more pop off the bench. Would have loved to see Montanez get a chance. Better defensively than Juan or pods and bats rt. As usual phils have no rt handed options off the bench until Mayberry goes back to the bench

“Nix hasn’t even hit ONE HR!!!”
Same number as Jim Thome.
If you judged everyone on the number of spring training homeruns they hit then Erik Kratz would be the starting catcher and Hector Luna would be starting at third base.

Laynce Nix is 31 and hit 16 homeruns in 324 major league at bats in 2011.
Scott Podsednik is 36 and hit 16 homeruns in 1,452 major league at bats since 2007.

Bottom line is spring training stats are meaningless. A decision had to be made on Pierre by March 30th. Podsednik’s opt out clause in his contract isn’t until June 1st. Had it been the other way around, Podsednik would be the guy they kept. This just extends the decision making process an additional 2 months.

Forgive me. I forgot guys who were guaranteed roster spots didn’t have to worry about meaningless spring training offensive production. I forgot all those guys had a switch they turned on when the games counted…..

the question is how many arms are going north. With Blanton in the Pen for at least the first 9 games we can keep an extra bat and let them continue to battle it out when the stats do count, In general I would like to see a RHB utility INF to be kept. As ususal, we seem to have tons of cormer players (RF/LF, 1B/3B) and no one up the middle. BTW, what’s the over/under for Kratz replacing Scheider as 2nd catcher?

Galvis and Martinez are primarily middle infielders. Pierre and Mayberry can serve as backup center fielders. Podsednik, Nix, and Wiggington are all capable of filling in up the middle. How much of the bench would you like to see dedicated to guys who can play up the middle?

Pierre is a horrendous CF and Nix is strictly a LF and possible 1B. Wigginton is an OK 3B, but a weak 2B. What makes you think any of those guys could play up the middle? With Martinez injured, their depth up the middle is very weak. If anything happens to Rollins or Galvis, all bets are off.

It’s gotten to the point that spring training isn’t about “making the team.” It’s about getting ready to either go back to AAA or make the team because your contract dictates it. Podsednik out-played Pierre, but because of his contract, he’s at AAA.
I love Juan, but I loved him 8 years ago when he could run. Now, he leads the league in caught stealing and plays the outfield. I think the Phils would be better served to disregard Podsednik’s contract and just make him the left fielder.

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