The list right now has 12 pitchers, although the Phillies could add David Herndon and go with 13. Kyle Kendrick has not had a good spring, but the Phils are paying him too much to send him back to AAA. It could happen, as Herndon has been pretty good, but it is unlikely.
What is more probable is that the Phillies will choose to carry an extra infielder or utility player because of the Chase Utley situation. Odds are very good that Utley will start the season on the disabled list with Wilson Valdez filling in at second base. However, this still leaves an extra roster spot open.
The list above includes Michael Martinez, who has played well enough to earn a spot and he plays multiple positions. Plus, Martinez is a Rule 5 player. If the Phillies do not put him on the roster, they have to offer him back to the Nationals. With the way Martinez has played, the Nationals would probably take him back.
That leaves one bench spot for either Pete Orr, Josh Barfield or Delwyn Young. Barfield has been very good at the plate, hitting .355 with three doubles and a triple. He is also speedy, which is a plus.
But Barfield’s main weakness appears to be defense. While he has not committed any “official” errors, Barfield has fumbled the ball more than once. In Saturday’s match-up with the Orioles, Barfield dropped an easy double play ball, did not get any outs and left Cole Hamels hanging. Hamels was having a rough day to begin with, so this did not help.
As for Orr, he is experienced and can play second, third and a little outfield. Orr is batting .343 with three doubles and three triples this spring. Orr also strikes out less than Barfield and Young, but his fielding is average.
That leaves Young, who is intriguing because he can play almost anywhere. However, his fielding is not very good. A lifetime .258 hitter, Young is batting .298 with one home run, seven RBI and two doubles this spring. He is probably the least likely to make the team.
However, there are still nine games left in Florida and two exhibition games in Philadelphia before the season begins. Each player still has time to make a big push towards earning a roster spot.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
While the Phillies were unable to conjure a tidal wave in the Winter Meetings this year, they did make a few smaller splashes. Free-agent left-handed reliever Dennys Reyes, 33, has been signed to a one-year, $1.25 million dollar contract, pending a physical. Reyes is a 14-year, well- traveled veteran who now joins his 11th major league club.
While the signing is relatively small in terms of impact, Reyes is anything but small. This six-foot, 3-inch 250 pound reliever goes by the nickname, “The Big Sweat.” In other words, he will add both depth and width to the bullpen.
On the other end of the size spectrum, the Phillies also picked up a five-foot, nine-inch, 145 pound infielder from the Nationals AAA system in the Rule 5 Draft. Michael Martinez, 28, had better watch himself around Reyes who is liable to mistake him for dinner.
Martinez’s small size has made him a versatile player who can handle both shortstop and second base as well as the occasional stop in centerfield. He hit a combined .272 with 21 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs, 56 RBI’s and a .408 slugging percentage in 522 plate appearances with Double-A Harrisburg and AAA Syracuse.
When asked about the pick-up of Martinez, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. joked, “We figured with this Rule 5 Draft we would get back at the Nationals. They got Werth. We’ll take Martinez and call it even.” While the attempt at humor is admirable, Amaro should probably not quit his day job.
The Phillies picked up a few other players in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft; Colorado outfielder Chris Frey and Oakland righty Justin Friend. While these are not real impact moves, it does give the Phillies a little more depth in the minor league system.
Overall, the Phillies had a quiet week at the Winter Meetings. However, with rumors flying about a possible deal for the Royals righty Zach Greinke, the Phillies may still have a big move on the horizon.
Photo by shgmom56 on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons
The Phillies added one more alumni back to the organization this week. Former Phils All-Star 2nd baseman, Mickey Morandini has been assigned to manage Class A Williamsport next season. He had been coaching High School baseball and also helped out the Phillies during Spring Training over the past several years as well. Morandini joins other former teammates hired this offseason in coaching roles including Juan Samuel and Ryne Sandberg.
Earlier this week as well, the Phillies picked out 5 young players to add to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from being selected in the Rule-5 draft. This is the current roster below with those 5 players highlighted in blue and I added their fielding positions as well:
In addition to these players, 12 non-roster players have been invited to Spring Training:
- Josh Barfield, INF
- Eddie Bonine, RHP
- Tagg Bozied, INF/OF
- Ryan Feierabend, LHP
- Erik Kratz, C
- Jeff Larish, INF
- Dan Meyer, LHP
- Matt Miller, OF
- Brandon Moss, OF
- Pete Orr, INF
- Juan Perez, LHP
- Dane Sardinha, C
Most of these players have a good amount of major league experience and if they do not make the team, they will probably help fill up the AAA roster. It is thought that if southern Jersey native Dan Meyer is healthy, he may have a shot at a bullpen spot. And Pete Orr could end up as a utility man since he plays multiple positions. The rest are long shots.
This list of players also means we have likely seen the last of Mike Sweeney, which is very sad. Many had hoped he would at least get an invitation to spring training as he was a powerful positive force in the clubhouse since arriving in Philly. He may choose to retire; whatever he does, we wish him the best! Sweeney’s team spirit and upbeat attitude will be missed.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography