During the course of the spring I have been trying to project the Phillies Opening Day Roster. Today before their final Spring Training Day they announced their current roster.
Catchers (2): Kratz, Quintero
Infielders(6): Howard, Utley, Rollins, Young, Galvis, Frandsen
Outfielders(5): Brown, Revere, Mayberry, Nix, Inciarte
Starters (5): Hamels, Halladay, Lee, Kendrick, Lannan
Bullpen (7): Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Durbin, Aumont, Horst, Valdes
Quintero over Lerud
In my final projection that I did earlier this week, I had Lerud winning the Phillies backup job. I admitted that I really wasn't sure who it was going to be and I really think the Phillies front office felt the same way until the very end. They had to choose between a guy in Quintero who had a better bat and had more ML experience and Lerud who was in the system last season and has received great reviews from the Phillies starters on his game management.
If they would have had to keep one for the entire season, I think Quintero would have ran away with it. But given the short roster stay during Ruiz's suspension I thought they would go with the catcher who could handle the staff better. In the end, choosing Lerud or Quintero will have very little effect on the 2013 Phillies.
Inciarte over Orr
I should have known better when it comes to the Ruben and his Rule 5 obsession. The Phillies chose to keep Inciarte for now by placing him on the 25 man roster. I had projected infielder Pete Orr to secure the final spot. There were 2 reasons for my projection. Number one, Delmon Young will return in about one month and this will likely force the Phillies to send down an outfielder. Mayberry is out of options and Nix's contract is guaranteed so Inciarte is the obvious one who goes. Being a Rule 5 draftee, the Phillies would then have to offer him back to Arizona (Or work out a trade for him). I don't see the point in keeping a player who hasn't played above Single A on your roster for one month?
The 2nd reason is Orr would strengthen the bench. Assuming Nix platoons with Mayberry and starts against righties. They will be left with just the switch hitting Galvis and Inciarte available to pinch hit from the left side. I will admit I'm a fan of Orr, but he has done a good job of hitting right handed pitching in his career. Last season Orr hit .327 with .801 OPs agasint right handed pitching. If I had to chose between Orr and Inciarte to PH in a big spot in the 8th innings, I'm picking Orr every time.
I understand why the Phillies ultimately chose to go with Inciarte. He is a terrific fielder who can be a defensive replacement late in the game and his speed also makes him a PR candidate Giving Orr the final roster spot would have left their roster unbalanced (7 infielders, 4 outfielders), but both Galvis and Orr have played in the OF during the spring. Mayberry can play all 3 OF positions and Nix played a few games in CF last year. I believe they could have "gotten away" with not having a 5th OF for the first month.
The Phillies had some Rule 5 success in Victorino (But he didn't make the 25 man roster was offered back to Dodgers and they declined. So he was sent to AAA), and Amaro has been enamored with it ever since. Both Martinez and Herndon handcuffed the Phillies while wasting a roster spot. Inciarte has more talent then either but its still frustrating. My personal opinion is its Ruben trying to make up for his and his team's failures in trades and developing any quality major league talent in recent years. He's hoping to "get a player free" card through the Rule 5 draft.
The way the roster is currently constructed I don't think it is easily feasble to keep Inciarte on the roster throughout the entire year. So I think the final spot should have gone to the player who gives you more right now. And I still say that player is Pete Orr.
In other news, 2 days until Opening Day!!!!! Let the games begin!