Results tagged ‘ roster ’

Projected Opening Day Roster

Pete-MackaninThe Phillies are heading north following today’s Grapefruit League game. I’ve written a lot recently about the Phillies’ roster battles in the bullpen and bench — and how they might not name a closer — but if you want my best guess at the Opening Day roster here it is:

  • Rotation (five): Jeremy Hellickson, Aaron Nola, Charlie Morton, Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez.
  • Bullpen (seven): David Hernandez, Dalier Hinojosa, Jeanmar Gomez, Brett Oberholtzer, James Russell, Daniel Stumpf and Hector Neris.
  • Catchers (two): Cameron Rupp and Carlos Ruiz.
  • Infielders (seven): Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf, Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Maikel Franco, Andres Blanco and Emmanuel Burris.
  • Outfielders (four): Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos, Tyler Goeddel and Cedric Hunter.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Will Venable edged Hunter because of his big league service time, but Hunter is a fantastic story. Read it here.

But reading between the lines it sure seems like Pete Mackanin wants Hunter.

“Cedric Hunter has been a good surprise,” Mackanin said today, asked who has surprised or impressed him in camp. “He’s given us quality at-bats for the whole spring. I know he’s dipped a little bit in the last few days, but he just gives you good at-bats and he plays a solid defense. I like the way he moves around out there. There are a few more days left, but he’s the guy that caught everybody’s eye. I’m happy for him. We’ll see after the next three days whether he’s going to be with us or not.”

Mackanin said yesterday he could see Hunter as his leadoff hitter, if he makes the team. He also said nobody in camp has had better at-bats than Hunter, other than Maikel Franco. That’s high praise.

I have Burriss on my list because he can play both the infield and outfield and Mackanin has said he likes that flexibility in National League games. Otherwise, the only utility infielder is Blanco.

I think the Phillies send Andrew Bailey and Ernesto Frieri to the Minor Leagues because it gives them some depth.

Mid-March Roster Projection

klentak springI spoke yesterday with Matt Klentak about the Phillies and how they have fared through the first half of Grapefruit League games.

Read that story here.

Because today is the Phillies’ only off day and because there are just 19 more days until Opening Day, I thought I’d give you my best guess at the Opening Day roster.

Here it is:

  • Rotation: Jeremy Hellickson, Aaron Nola, Charlie Morton, Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez. Velasquez entered camp the favorite for the No. 5 job and I believe he remains the favorite. First, he has the best stuff. Second, he is the prized piece of the Ken Giles trade and I believe the Phillies’ front office would like to have him out there. But I would not say Velasquez has a big lead over Adam Morgan. (I believe Brett Oberholtzer will end up in the bullpen, despite pitching well.) Morgan has pitched very well this spring. If Velasquez has trouble throwing strikes and Morgan keeps doing what he has been doing I would not be surprised to see Morgan in the rotation.
  • Bullpen: David Hernandez, Andrew Bailey, Edward Mujica, Brett Oberholtzer, Jeanmar Gomez, Dalier Hinojosa and Daniel Stumpf. Everything here assumes everybody is healthy, which Hernandez has not been early in camp. I feel pretty good about the first six relievers listed here — Oberholtzer is out of options, so he makes the team — but not as much about the Phillies’ second lefty in the pen. I give the edge to Stumpf because he is a Rule 5 pick and the Phillies have every incentive to keep him. Every other lefty in camp can be sent to the Minor Leagues. Bobby LaFromboise has pitched well, but he is on a Minor League contract. He is out of options, but that only would affect the Phillies if they wanted to send him back to Triple-A. He can start the season there. James Russell has pitched well, but he has a June 1 out clause. So the Phillies can start him in Triple-A, too. Having Stumpf on the Opening Day roster allows further evaluation of him. That should not be overlooked. But plenty can change in the final two weeks of Grapefruit League games. Remember last year? Rule 5 pick Andy Oliver looked untouchable the first two weeks of camp before the wheels fell off.
  • Catchers: Carlos Ruiz and Cameron Rupp. No surprises here.
  • Infielders: Ryan Howard, Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Andres Blanco and Darin Ruf. No surprises here, either.
  • Outfielders: Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos, Tyler Goeddel, David Lough and Cedric Hunter. I do not have Cody Asche listed because he has yet to play in a Grapefruit League game and he is running out of time to get ready for the season. Once he is healthy he should be back on the roster. Of course, that means a pair of non-roster invitees could be the team’s fourth and fifth outfielders. Klentak seems OK with that publicly, but they’ve got to add some depth there don’t they? Darnell Sweeney remains a candidate, but the Phillies keep talking about the importance of defense in the outfield, so Lough and Hunter have the edge.

The Phillies’ Opening Day roster

Phillippe AumontThe Phillies just announced their Opening Day roster.

Here it is:

  • Rotation (5): Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan.
  • Bullpen (7): Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo, Chad Durbin, Phillippe Aumont, Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes.
  • Catchers (2): Erik Kratz and Humberto Quintero.
  • Infielders (6): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Michael Young, Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis.
  • Outfielders (5): Ben Revere, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix and Ender Inciarte.

The Phillies reassigned Pete Orr, Steven Lerud and Zach Miner to the minor leagues. Mike Stutes optioned. Delmon Young placed on the DL, retroactive to March 22 (right ankle surgery).

I don’t see any surprises here. The Phillies had been looking for help in the outfield, but they will stick with Inciarte for the moment. I suspect Delmon Young will replace him on the roster whenever he is ready to be activated. That could come before the end of April. Aumont, Horst and Valdes became the frontrunners for the final three bullpen jobs in recent weeks. The Phillies think Stutes needs to go to Triple-A and pitch after missing most of last season because of an injured right shoulder. Lerud pushed Quintero for the backup catcher’s job, but I thought they’d go with Quintero’s experience in the end, which they did.

Your 2012 Opening Day Roster

The Phillies announced their Opening Day roster, which includes 12 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders.

Here it is:

  • Pitchers (12): Right-handers Joe Blanton, Roy Halladay, David Herndon, Kyle Kendrick, Jonathan Papelbon, Chad Qualls, Mike Stutes and Vance Worley; and left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Joe Savery.
  • Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider.
  • Infielders (6): Freddy Galvis, Pete Orr, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Jim Thome and Ty Wigginton.
  • Outfielders (5): John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix, Hunter Pence, Juan Pierre and Shane Victorino.

The Phillies made the following transactions: selected Orr’s contract, putting him on the 40-man roster; reassigned infielder Hector Luna, outfielder Scott Podsednik and left-hander Raul Valdes to Triple-A Lehigh Valley; placed infielders Ryan Howard (left Achilles surgery), Michael Martinez (fractured fourth metatarsal in right foot) and Chase Utley (chondromalacia); and right-handers Jose Contreras (right elbow surgery) and Justin De Fratus (right elbow sprain) on the DL, retroactive to March 26.

Initial reaction: Awesome to see Savery make the team. Great story. Great guy. … Podsednik knew best when he said he didn’t like his chances of making the team, despite the Phillies’ insistence last week he could still make the squad. … Herndon had a 1.94 ERA from May 22 through the end of the regular season, but allowed 47.1 percent (8 of 17) of his inherited runners to score for the season. If he improves on that last figure he could be a valuable piece in the middle innings. … Stutes must have shown the bosses enough to convince them he’s ready to start the season. He had been battling right shoulder stiffness.


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 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.

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Almost Home …

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for contreras 01.jpgHola, amigos.

I’ve been blog-less since Friday morning because of a conversion to new blog software. But the conversion didn’t work as planned, which left me unable to post. I apologize for that. But we went back to the old software for the next 24 hours or so, which should allow me to post through tomorrow’s Grapefruit League finale at Bright House Field.

I want to mention a few things before the Zo Zone goes dark again:

The Phillies have not named a closer to replace Brad Lidge, but my guess is Jose Contreras gets the nod. Why? It’s just the feeling I get from being in camp the past few days. Rich Dubee also sounds like he wants to keep Madson in the eighth inning, where he has thrived. I asked Dubee yesterday if he thought Madson was better prepared to close this season than previous seasons.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “Ryan Madson is Ryan Madson. What did he do? Take a crash course in how to close? We’re in Spring Training here. … I think the game speeds up on him sometimes. He doesn’t get to the same comfort level. There’s a little anxiety there. The ninth inning is a little different than the eighth. There have been a solid eighth-inning guys that haven’t been able to pitch the ninth. One day they learn how to do it.”


Amaro Talks Werth, Getting Old and More

amaro 1025 2010.jpg

Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke with reporters for nearly 30 minutes today about everything from Jayson Werth to concerns about the age of his lineup. Here are the most interesting things he said:

Q: How much will it cost to bring Werth back?
A: I have not had any discussions with Scott (Boras) yet. I obviously will (talk to him) over the next 48 hours or so. We’ll make contact. I guess the follow up question are, do we have enough money to do it? And would we like to bring him back? I think the answers to both questions are yes. However that will depend on what the ask is and ultimately how that will affect us with other possible moves we would have to make to do that.

Q: Are years an issue?
A: I think length is always an issue. It’s probably the most poignant issue always. Pat Gillick said this to me and I think it rings true. Anytime you get these extraordinary long contracts you have to weigh not only that person’s production on the field and off the field, that person’s affect on the club, long term and short term, both on and off the field, and also what that player brings to your organization beyond production. These are all things you have to weigh, and we’ll do the same with Jayson.

Q: Would you go more than three years?
A: I’m not sure yet. I don’t know yet.

Q: sn’t that an issue?
A:I don’t know until I talk to Scott.

Q: When you look at the core of your team, they’re all in their 30s. Are you worried they’re all going to get old at the same time?
A: I worry every day.


Phillies Add Kendrick, Keep Brown, Dropps Dobbs

kendrick 0719 2010.jpgThe Phillies announced their NLCS roster.

They added Kyle Kendrick as the 11th pitcher, kept Domonic Brown and dropped Greg Dobbs.

“It’s great,” Brown said, who went 0 for 1 and scored a run in the NLDS. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be on the roster, but it has turned into another great experience for me.”

Ruben Amaro Jr. said manager Charlie Manuel made the final decision. He said Manuel felt Brown “would bring a little bit more to the table. It was a tough decision. Charlie ultimately felt like it was the right thing for us to do.”

Brown hit .210 (13 for 62) with three doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs during the regular season. Dobbs hit .198 (32 for 163) with seven doubles, five home runs and 15 RBIs. Manuel said Brown’s and Dobbs’ offense was equal. He said Brown’s speed was an advantage over Dobbs, although he said Dobbs’ experience and ability to play the infield were important.

Not important enough.

“I thought that maybe my postseason experience and how well I’ve done in the postseason might play a role in it,” Dobbs said. “Being an older veteran, more experienced, more versatile, I thought that would play in my favor. Obviously, it did not.”


The NLDS Roster

The Phillies just announced their NLDS roster.

Greg Dobbs, Domonic Brown and Antonio Bastardo are ON. Kyle KendrickDanys Baez and David Herndon are OUT.

Here is how it looks:

  • Pitchers (10): Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin and Bastardo.
  • Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider.
  • Infielders (7): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Wilson Valdez, Mike Sweeney and Dobbs.
  • Outfielders (5): Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Ross Gload and Brown.

The Phillies obviously feel with Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt they do not need 11 pitchers, which cost Kendrick a spot. Dobbs could provide insurance should something happen to Rollins, who missed most of September with an injured hamstring. If Valdez had to play, the Phillies would have nobody to backup Polanco or even Utley.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Looking at September Call Ups

The Phillies have a couple days to make a trade before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline, but nothing appears imminent.

They also have a couple days before they can expand their roster. Danys Baez and Ross Gload certainly will be back once they are activated from the 15-day disabled list. Greg Dobbs also will be back. The rest remains up in the air.

Pitchers Drew Carpenter, Scott Mathieson, Nate Robertson, Vance Worley and Mike Zagurski are candidates. Outfielder John Mayberry Jr., infielder Cody Ransom and catchers Paul Hoover or Dane Sardinha are candidates for the bench.

The Phillies need a starter for their Sept. 6 doubleheader against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Carpenter, Robertson and Worley are the most likely candidates. Nate Bump and Brandon Duckworth have pitched well, but I think the Phillies will look at the other three first.


Gload, who is on the DL with a strained right groin, will head to Clearwater tomorrow and if everything goes well he will began a rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A Clearwater.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Myers Makes World Series Roster

myers 1012.jpgBrett Myers
is back on the World Series roster.

Miguel Cairo is off.

“We felt like we needed another pitcher because of the moves that we’ve been making in situations,” Charlie Manuel said this evening at Yankee Stadium. “We ran through five pitchers in one inning over at the Dodgers (in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series). I feel like if those things happen again … we always need pitching. I feel like with Myers’ stuff and the face that he’s in better shape and he’s well and he’s ready to pitch, I feel like his talent actually belongs on our staff.”

Cairo is off probably because the Phillies do not want to be in the same situation they were in during Game 4 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies when they had to play Cairo in left field. Eric Bruntlett has more experience playing in left field, having played there much of last season as a defensive replacement for Pat Burrell. Bruntlett also is an effective pinch-runner.

Myers was on the NLDS roster, but off the NLCS roster. He wasn’t sharp during the NLDS. In 2/3 inning in Game 2 against the Rockies, he hit a batter, walked a batter and intentionally walked another batter.

“I just asked Charlie to try to give me an opportunity to get sharp if there was a next round,” Myers said.

Myers made a mechanical adjustment, which he said has made a huge difference. Myers threw a simulated game Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Pedro Feliz asked why he was trying so hard, throwing him three breaking balls and a fastball.

“I’m trying to make the team,” Myers said. “It was a tryout for me.”

It worked.


Manuel said Ben Francisco definitely would be in the Game 1 lineup.


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