Its crazy to think, but in just one week, there will baseball at Citizens Bank Park. Yes, its the on-deck series but its one step closer to Opening Day! The amount of options for the final few spots is getting smaller by the day. Over the last few days a few players have been demoted or even shipped away and recently we that both Darin Ruf and Freddy Galvis will likely start the season on the disabled list. This leaves the door open for a veterans to make a claim to a spot.
My Current Projection
Starting Lineup: Revere, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Byrd, Brown, Ruiz, Asche
Bench: Nieves, Frandsen, Cedeno, Mayberry, Abreu, Gywnn Jr.
Starting Rotation: Lee, Burnett, Kendrick, Hernandez,
Bullpen: Papelbon, Bastardo, Diekman, De Fratus, Rosenberg, Lincoln, Camp
Disabled List: Hamels, Adams, Pettibone, Martin, Ruf, Galvis
IN: Gywnn Jr, Camp, Cedeno
OUT: Ruf (DL), Galvis (DL) Horst
Last 4 (now 5)in
Tony Gwynn Jr: He came into camp as a non-roster invitee and most people just knew he was Tony Gwynn's son. But over the last month he has slowly became one of Ryne's favorite players with his speed and versatility. Coming into todays game, he was hitting .346 with an amzaing .500 OBP! Gwynn is tied for 2nd on the team with 6 runs scored and has also added 2 stolen bags. His ability to play all 3 OF positions gives the bench a lot more flexibility.
BJ Rosenberg: With the combination of his performance for Sandberg late last season and the lack of other options, he is essentially a lock. But given the fact that he has options remaining, he could be sent down easily. Despite a 4.82 ERA, he has pitched very well this spring. His ERA is high due to one bad inning when he gave up 4 ER in 1.1 innings. In the remaining 8 IP, he has given up just 3 hits and 1 ER while striking out 6. Barring the team acquire a veteran reliever, he's in.
Shawn Camp: He has been great this spring (1.49 ERA), but the fact that he is making the roster is worrisome. The 38 year old been very good in the Grape Fruit League (2.12 career Spring Training ERA) but forgettable when the games count (4.40 career ML ERA). The sad fact is the Phillies Major League Arms and Camp has tons of Major Leaug experience.
Bobby Abreu: They have a tough decision here with Abreu. He has to been informed by the 26th whether or not he will be on the roster and if he is, his $800,000 salery becomes guarenteed. Abreu's play hasn't made it an easy decison either. He has been solid but not spectaular. Without the need for a 5th starter for the 1st 2 weeks, they might choose to go with the extra bench player. But if they guarentee him the money, he's around for the long haul. Mayberry could always be moved and go with a bench of (Utility man, Nieves, Frandsen, Gywnn, Abreu) for the long haul.
Ronny Cedeno: Its hard gauge what the team is thinking right now. But Cedeno is the logical choice. He started 71 games a SS last season at stops in San Diego and Houston and has made 602 career starts there. Cedano is also the only other "natural" SS option they have in camp right now.
First 4 out
Reid Brignac: Along with Cedeno, his name has come up as a possible replacement for Galvis. Brignac started 16 games in the Majors last year. He may not be the SS Cedeno is, but he has had one of the best bats for the Phillies this spring (.400 BA in 15 AB). Brignac did replace Rollins at SS in todays game, so the team clearly wants to see what he can do.
Caesar Hernandez: The speedy utility man may be the sleeper to replace Galvis. He hasn't played SS since his days in the Venezuelan League, but both him and Frandsen could play SS in an emergency. Barring an injury, Rollins wouldn't need any days off early in the season. Since Hernandez is already on the 40 man roster, it wouldn't require having to add Cedeno or Brignac. But this would only happen if Galvis isn't out long term.
Phillippe Aumount: After a rough start, he has settled down and pitched well in his last number of outings. In 8.1 innings this month, he has given up just 7 hits and 2 ER. Although he didn't allow any runs to score, he did walk 3 in his last game. He has a better chance if they decide to go with 8 RP over 6 bench players or a 5th starter to start the season.
5th starter: They won't need a 5th starter until April 14 but that doesn't mean that won't use one. It might be better for their veteren starters to get an extra day off early in the season. Right now Buchanan and Manship look to be neck and neck in this race. But keep an eye on waivers, as former Phillie Vance Worley was placed on waivers by the Twins. He has really struggled with the Twins, but a coming back to Philly might be just what the doctor ordered for the Vanimal.
Battle at 3rd
Maybe I'm not seeing it. But I'm not buying that 3rd base is still up for grabs. Asche is a notorious slow starter and has actually come on lately. Despite a .139 BA, he does have 2 HR and 5 RBI's. And to add to that, Franco hasn't hit the cover off the ball either as he is hitting just .189. I really can't see a team taking their top prospect who hasn't hit above AA and who has struggled during the spring and then handing hima roster spot. Especially when you have another young viable option. Both Asche and Franco need to get regular AB's and one of the only ways this happens is if Asche is a Phillie and Franco is a Iron Pig.