The Phillies are in the middle of the stretch of the season that can become boring for most players. They have already accomplished everything they need to during the regular season as they have already clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With the way they have played over the last week, it is apparent that they are already looking ahead to October. So I figured it would be ok to look past their recent struggles and take a look at what their post season roster may look like. Most of it is already set in stone but Charlie will have a few decisions to make before October 1st rolls around.
The first decision doesn’t involve any specific players but it involves how many pitchers they want to put on the roster. Most teams go through the season with 13 position players and 12 pitchers. But during the postseason teams are able to go with less because they won’t need a 5th starter and just have 11 pitchers on their roster. With the caliber of the pitchers they Phillies have, they could get away with just 10 pitchers and using that spot for another bat off the bench. Even with the starters likely going deep into most games, I don’t think Charlie will take the risk of being short a pitcher and he will take 11 pitchers with him into the NLDS.
Locks: (13) Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Polanco, Pence, Victorino, Ibanez, Mayberry, Schneider, Francisco, Gload and Valdez
The first 10 on the list are no-brainers with the remaining 3 not far behind them. Francisco has seemingly gone missing for weeks this year but he still remains the team’s best right handed bat when Mayberry starts in left. As sad as it may be, he may be one of the team’s hottest hitters right now. Some people have criticized Gload as he has battled through his hip injury, but despite little power he is the team’s best pinch hitter. At times season Martinez may have been in front of Valdez on the team’s utility man ranking but it is obvious that the veteran is the better option on the field and at the plate.
The Remaining Candidates
John Bowker: LH OF
26 AB 4-26 (0-9 as a Phillie) 0 HR 2 RBI
Most phans were hoping that Ruben would make another deadline move to improve the bench. He made a move to get a LH bat but it did little to improve the team. Bowker rarely touches the ball when he swings, let alone get a hit. He wasn’t good enough to make the Pirates but yet people thought he would help the best team in the league. To Ruben’s defense, Bowker has had a lot of success PH during his career but he has been a total bust during his month in Philly. He seems to be your classic AAAA player; he is great in the minors but just can’t crack it in the big leagues. Bowker gives the team little other than the fact that he “hits” from the left side.
Michael Martinez Switch, Utility
.199 3 HR 24 RBI
Without trying to sound like Dennis Green, Martinez is who we thought he was. He is a player who can provide the team with versatility in the field and speed on the base paths but will give you very little with his bat. He did have his moments with the bat but that isn’t a strong part of his game. With recent injuries to Rollins and Polanco and the knee of Utley, the Phillies might want an extra utility man just in case something happens.
Pete Orr LH 2B, 3B
.226 0 HR 4 RBI
I would advise that you take what I say about Orr with a grain of salt because outside of his family, I might be his biggest fan. Orr came out of nowhere to make the opening day roster and impressed the Philly Phaithful with his play. Pete is a scrappy player who WAY faster than he looks. He might even be the team’s 2nd faster player behind Victorino. Orr would give the team another left handed hitter, another infielder and a great candidate to pinch run.
Domonic Brown LH OF
.246 5 HR 19 RBI
Coming into the season most thought that Brown would take over as the team’s everyday right fielder and become an integral part of the team. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and he didn’t seem to take the mid season demotion to AAA very well. He could be used as the team’s another left handed bat off the bench and has great speed so he could be used as a pinch runner. But Charlie has already said that he will not start any games during the last week and all signs point to Brown being left off the NLDS roster.
Locks: (10) Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, Worley, Kendrick, Stutes, Lidge, Bastardo and Madson
The only two on there that I have even a little doubt are Kendrick and Stutes. Kendrick has pitched very well for the team but he won’t be making any starts in October. Charlie hasn’t used him a lot in crucial innings out of the pen but he has done a good job being the team’s long man. Stutes has struggled at times over 2nd half of the season but has been an integral part of the pen throughout the season. I just can’t see Charlie leaving them off the roster.
David Herndon RHP
1-3 3.42 ERA 1.34 WHIP
Herndon has received a lot of criticism from the Philly Phaithful over the last year. For some reason, I have always been a Herndon fan. I think that a guy who throws a sinker around 92-94 with good sink; can be a valuable pitcher for any team. Herndon aka “the Herdonator” has been terrific since the all star break. After the break he has a 1.65 ERA and opponents are hitting just .219 against him. His strikeouts are also up; he has stuck out 21 batters in his 27.1 inning of work after the break.
Michael Schwimer RHP
1-1 6.35 ERA 1.85 WHIP
While the Phillies bullpen was looking like the “Pig Pen” during a point this season, Iron Pigs reliever Michael Schwimer wondered when he would get his shot of the big leagues. A few weeks ago he was given his chance in the big leagues and hasn’t lived up to his own hype so far. He has given up 5 runs and 7 hits over his last 3 appearances and his ERA has quickly ballooned. Schwimer may have a future in the big leagues, but I would be shocked to see him on the NLDS roster.
Joe Savery LHP
1.1 IP 0-0 0.00 ERA 0.75 WHIP
If Savery is successful in the majors, he could turn his story into a great movie in a few seasons. He was converted from a pitcher to a hitter last season and has is now back to doing what he always wanted to do, be a major league pitcher. Savery was one of the 5 players called up last week as the Phillies might be looking for another LH reliever for October. Bastardo has gone from unhittable to JC clone in the span of a few weeks. He has looked good in his brief stint with the team but he will have to really impress them for him to earn a spot on the roster.
So I think the Phillies decision comes down to choosing one position player and one pitcher from my list of possible candidates. I think the last bench spot comes down to Orr and Martinez. I like Orr’s bat better, so I would pick him. But I think Charlie will ultimately pick Mini-Mart in the end. The other spot I think will go to David Herndon unless Savery completely pitches out of his mind over the last week. I just can’t see them picking a player who doesn’t have a lot of experience.