Pierre Makes Team, Podsednik on Bubble
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.”
“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.
- April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
- April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.