We are now 9 games into Grape Fruit League action and the calender has turned to March. There have been a few suprises in the first week and half of spring games. Some players have cemented there place on the team while others slim chances may be fading away. Every spring there are some surprises and underdogs who make a run at the one of the final roster spots and I don't think 2013 is any different Hear is my updated look the Phillies Opening Day roster.
My Projected Roster
Starting Lineup: Revere, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Young, Brown, Ruf, Kratz, Pitcher (Hamels)
Bench: Mayberry, Betancourt, Frandsen, Nix, Lerud
Rotation: Hamels, Halladay, Lee, Kendrick, Lannan
Bullpen: Paplebon, Adams, Bastardo, Durbin, Aumont, Horst, Diekman
Who's In:Betancourt, Lerud
Who's Out: Galvis, Quintero
SPots Locked in
Dominic Brown: Coming into the spring, I thought Brown was almost gurenteed a spot and his scoarching start locks it in. His power mixed with his patient at bats make him a very useful piece in the lineup. Its time to see what this kid can do.
Phillipee Aumont: He's only pitched in 2 games so far this spring but I think that's enough to lock his spot up. In 2IP, Aumont has given up just 1 hit while striking out 2. His success and the struggles of other young relievers make him a lock as he heads to help Team Canada in the WBC.
Last 5 In:
Darin Ruf: As I have mentioned before, its hasn't been a very sucessful spring for "Babe Ruf." He's currently hitting just .143, he has struck 6 times and looked down right awful in the field. There are 2 things that help him, the fact that Delmon Young will likely start the season on the DL and I think Charlie really likes him. Who could take his spot? (Hint: Keep reading)
Yuniesky Betancourt: I said in my 1st prediction that I thought Galvis would be the team's Utility man because they didn't have any other options. Enter journeyman infielder Yuniesky Betancourt. He has played at SS early in spring as I think they want to see how he handles the potision and his defense has been better than expected. Add in the fact that he's currently hitting .357 and I'm not leaning toward Freddy getting some seasoning int he minors.
Steve Lerud: This situations reminds me of a line in the movie "Argo." This is the best bad idea the team has. With Chooch missing the 1st 25 games, they need another catcher. I would be shocked if they would promote Joseph for the short stay despite his strong spring. So there decisions is down to Lerud or Quintero. I think Quintero had the edge going into the spring, but he is hitless in 4 AB's so far. Lerud hasn't done much better, but I have a feeling they will go with him. He was in the organiztion last year and even made a few appearances in September. I say familiarity outweighs experience experience for now.
Jeremy Horst: Saying he struggled in his last apperence would be an understatement as he gave up 6 ER in 0.2 innings. But he pitched well before that allowing just 1 ER in 3.0 innings. His terrific season last year and the other struggles of his fellow Pig Pen members keeps him hear, but he is on the bubble.
Jake Diekman: Oddly "the Diekman's" 4.5 ERA is making his fellow young RP jealous. He's pitched good but not great so far this spring.
Last 4 Out:
Freddy Galvis: The fact that I bumped him off the roster has little to do with his Spring play. He is hitting .286 and even added a long ball. His errors in the field are strange, but we all know the man's glove is golden. I think steady AB's and playing time in the minors would help him and Betancourt has showed he can hold down the utility man's job.
Edner Inciarte: We all know the Phillies love Rule 5 players and the player they selected this season was Inciarte. The light hitting speedy OF hasn't played above single A, so he's still a long shot. But with Ruf struggling, Mayberry could be forced in the lineup and Inciarte would make sense as pinch runner and 5th OF. He's hitting .500 and has added 3 walks with his great D in centerfield. Call me crazy but I think its realistic if Ruf continues to struggle.
Humberto Quintero: I still think a half way decent spring gets him the nod over Lerud because of his previous big league experience. If they both continue to struggle, it will be whether the team wants a guy who they know or a guy with major league experience.
Mike Stutes: A 13.50 ERA isn't going to win him any jobs. Stutes has to prove that he is healthy and that he is the pitcher he was in 2011. His previous major league sucess puts him slightly ahead of the other inexperienced relivers at this point.
Next 4: Justin De Fratus, Raul Valdes, BJ Rosenberg, Aaron Cook
It's still very early in March and a lot more can still happen. Right now (barring injury), 20 of the availabe 25 spots are locked up. I feel pretty cofident about the other 5 spots but we have a long way to go before April 1.