Over the last week I have found that the excitment from Spring Training was starting to wear off and I was ready for the season to start. Watching Dom Brown crush the ball has been great but its time to see if his great spring means anyting. Its crazy to think that next week this time we will be 2 games into the 2013 season. For a team with championship aspirations there are still a few roster spots up for grabs as we are just 5 days away from the first pitch.
My Final Projection
Starting Lineup: Revere, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Young, Brown, Mayberry, Kratz, (Hamels)
Bench: Galvis, Frandsen, Nix, Lerud, Orr
Rotation: Hamels, Halladay, Lee, Kenrick, Lannen
Bullpen: Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Aumont, Durbin, Horst, Valdes
In: Galvis, Orr, Lerud, Valdes
Out: Betancourt, Inciarte, Quintero, Diekman
With the release of Betancourt on Sunday, Galvis had his ticket punched. Galvis is the better player (Betancourt), but I still think it would have been beneficial to both Galvis and the Phillies organization depth to send him to the minors. The Phillies could have help on to Bentancourt (or even possibly traded him for something) and let Galvis get regular at-bats in AAA. Now an injury to an infielder could mark the return of Michael "Mini Mart" Martinez.
Last 4 In
Orr: I will admit I may be Pete Orr's biggest fan outside his family. He would be the 3rd infielder on the Phillies bench, but frankly I don't think they have any better options until Young returns from injury. Both Galvis and Orr have played in the OF in recent games and could play there in an emerceny. Personally I don't see why they would keep Inciarte on the roster only to have to offer him back to Arizona when Young is healthy. Orr may not be a great bat but he gives Charlie LH bat when Nix gets the start in left. I think there is a chance that the team will fill this spot via waivers or trade once other rosters are finalized.
Lerud: I have been flip-floping on this one more than a politician I honestly can't seem to get a grasp on what they will do here. But I think Lerud is who they will ultimently go with. Lerud has gotten good reviews on his handling of the pitchers and I think that's what will ultimently give him the edge. In the 25 games until Chooch returns, the backup Catcher only will get between 10-15 at-bats, so I doubt offense will be a huge factor in there decision.
Horst: Its crazy what a poor outing with the wind blowing out can do to your ERA. On a crazy day in Sarasota, Horst gave up 6 ER in just 0.2 inning. In his other 14 1/3 innings, he gave up just 2 ER while striking out 11. He doesn't have a blazing fastball but he hides the ball well and the it seems to get on hitters faster than they think. He should challenge Bastardo for the top lefty in the pen.
Valdes: The 32 year old lefty has gotten a lot of work this spring. He is currently 4th on the team in IP and has more major league innings than starters Halladay, Lee and Kendrick. His 4.15 ERA doesn't look impressive but the majority of his runs have been yielded to home runs which may have been wind aided. Look for Valdes to work as the team's long man to start the season.
Last 4 Out
Inciarte: I had the Rule 5 draftee making the roster on my last projection but right now I think he is on the outside looking in. They could chose to take a longer look at him by keeping him on the roster until Young returns, but I don't think that makes any sense. Orr is the better option off the bench, Inciarte would only see the field as a defensive replacement or pinch runner. Hopefully they are able to work out a deal with Arizona and keep him in the organization, but he still needs some time to develop.
Quintero: Like I said earlier, I'm really not sure what they are going to do here. He has the better bat but I think Lerud's game managment and the organizations familirity with him with give him the nod.
Stutes: Like Horst, Stutes has been solid if you take away his one bad outing. (On March 21, he gave up 5 ER in 0.2 innings). In his remaining apperences, he has given up just 2 ER in 10.2 innings. I think Stutes can be a solid member of the pen and looks to be one of the first relievers called when an injury occurs.
Jermaine Mitchell: He has had a solid spring but I don't think he is a major league player. The 28 year old has hit .269 this spring and is one of the only other outfielders left in major league camp. If the Phillies don't think its worth keeping Inciarte for a few weeks, don't pick up an OF via trade and are dead set on keeping 5 outfielders Mitchell is your guy. So I'm saying there's a chance!