Lineup: Revere, Galvis, Utley, Howard, Ruiz, Brown, Sizemore, Asche
Bench: Rupp, Hernandez, Blanco, Ruf, Herrera
Rotation: Hamels, Harang, Williams, Buchanan, Slowey
Bullpen: Papelbon, Giles, Diekman, De Fratus, Oliver, Garcia, Hollands
IN: Slowey, Garcia, Hollands
OUT: Lee (DL), Clemens, Gomez
Last 4 In:
1. Cesar Hernandez: This may turn some heads because Hernandez is out of options and would have to be exposed to waivers if he doesn't make the 25 man roster. But his lack of offensive production and the team's lack of trust at him manning SS. Make me think he is now on the roster bubble. The 24 year old is just 2-22 so far this spring and hit just .237 in 114 AB's last season.
If Hernandez could play SS, his lack of offensive production could be overlooked. But right now, where does he get any at bats? Herrera figures to get backup Chase at 2nd and I'm not sure if the Phillies brass believe he can play a decent SS or 3B. Its tough risk losing him to waivers, but how much long term value does he actually have? I still think he makes it, but I think its an option will be strongly considered.
2. Mario Hollands: He has allowed just 1 hit and Zero runs in 3 IP since his forgettable start to Spring Training. Hollands would give the team versatility as he could also serve as the team's long man. Personally I think he is much better suited to be the 2nd LHP out of the pen as opposed to the long man. But Rule 5 Draft's Andy Oliver's presence complicates things for Hollands. It may be unusual for team's to carry 3 LH relievers, but the Phillies carried Diekman, Bastardo and Hollands for a majority of last season. So there isn't any reason to think they wouldn't do it again.
3. Luis Garcia: The big righty has had a very good start to his spring. So far in 4.2 IP he has allowed just 3 hits and zero runs. And the fact that he has only walked one, may be the most positive sign. Garcia has always had the arm, but giving up free passes has always hurt him. Last season he led the team with a staggering 8.36 BB/9 (Giles, Papelbon and DeFratus were all around 2.0). The organization likes his arm and if he continues to throw strikes, he should be heading North with the big club.
4. Kevin Slowey: When stars get injured, there is always someone who benefits. This time its non-roster invitee Kevin Slowey. I'm not trying to bash the guy, but he's your typical veteran journey man pitcher. He doesn't have great stuff but he can give you innings at a cheap price. In 662 career IP, he has a 4.62 ERA. But he has been solid so far this spring. He came into today starting the spring with 6 scoreless I and even with his 2 ER today, Slowey still has a 2.35 ERA. With injuries to Lee and Billingsley, the organization lacks many MLB starters. I would think that Clemens, O'Sullivan and perhaps Adam Morgan or Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will be in the conversation. But I think given his MLB track record coupled with his strong spring give him the early node at the 5th spot in the rotation.
1st 4 Out
1. Paul Clemens: He missed a golden opportunity to secure a spot in the rotation with his poor start yesterday. He struggled with his command walking 4 in just 2.2 IP and that led to the righty to give up 3 ER. Despite the bad outing, his 4.26 ERA isn't horrible. He will have many more opportunities to earn a spot whether its in the pen or in the rotation, but a solid start yesterday would have given him a nice head start!
2. Jeanmar Gomez: This bump off the roster has a lot more to do with what Garcia has done, than what Gomez has failed to do. He continues his solid spring 2 more scoreless inning this week. But if Garcia continues to do what he's been doing. I don't like Gomez' chances. The familiarity the Organization has with Garcia and the fact that he's on the 40 Man roster, give him the inside track.
3. Phillippe Aumont: Just when you think you can safely cross his name off the list. He crawls his way back into contention. No one has ever questioned whether he has the the stuff to compete in the majors. But he has NEVER put it together. After giving up 2 ER in his first spring appearance, he gave the Phillies 2.2 scoreless innings this week. He's out of options, so a solid spring could force the Phillies to take him North with them. But I really doubt he will do enough.
4. Jeff Francoeur: He was scratched from yesterday's game because of strained left oblique, but it seems like the move was more precautionary. The man they call Frenchy is a respectable 5-18 on the spring including 2 extra base hits. He is a better option off the bench than Hernandez but rebuilding team's can't think only about the present. But could a solid start by Francoeur bring you higher potential value at the trade deadline than what Hernandez gives you in the future? That's the question Gillick and Ruben will have to decide.
Rule IV Update
Odubel Herrera: Go ahead, give me a reason why he doesn't make the roster. Still waiting. Anyone who has seen this kid play so far this spring has been gushing about him. He added 3 hits to to his total today raising his spring average to .345. Herrera is still a work in progress in CF, but he has the athleticism to play there. And his presence allows Chase to get more days off and stay fresher at the end of the season. Right now he is all but a lock to make the 25 man.
Andy Oliver: No big deal, Oliver just has thrown 6 scoreless innings while only allowing 2 hits and striking out 12. Without Herrera's hot spring, Oliver would be getting a lot more attention. He has gotten himself off the roster bubble and is close to securing his spot on the 25 man. He may have outdone his fellow Rule 5 draftee 3 hits today striking out the side in the 8th. Its rare but it looks like 2 Rule 5 draftees will make a team's Opening Day 25 man roster.
Cliff Lee: I still think Lee will make at least a few starts for the Phillies this year. He doesn't want surgery, the Phillies don't want him to have surgery. So I think he is going to gut it out as long as he can. But I don't think it would last long.
Chad Billingsley: News has been pretty quiet on the Billingsley front. It looks like he will miss most of April continuing to recover from Frank Jobe (Tommy John) Surgery.