Projecting the Phillies' Opening Day Roster

Projecting the Phillies' Opening Day Roster

Projecting the Phillies' Opening Day Roster

The entire Phillies squad is down in sunny Clearwater (those jerks), meaning baseball season has arrived. We know the names and the faces, but now we need to find them places. Let’s try to figure out who will make the Phillies 25 man roster.

Most teams go with a staff of 12 pitchers (5 starters and 7 relievers) and 13 position players, but with inning eaters like Halladay, Lee, and Hamels in the rotation, it’s quite possible the Phillies only bring 6 relievers north in exchange for an extra bench spot. We’ll examine both possibilities.

The 5 starters are easy:

Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Vance Worley
Joe Blanton

The only question with the starters is whether or not Blanton gets traded, in which case Kendrick is your #5.


If the Phillies carry 7 relievers, it’s pretty straight forward who they will take.
Jonathan Papelbon (closer)
Chad Qualls (middle relief)
Kyle Kendrick (long relief)
Jose Contreras (setup man)
Dontrelle Willis (lefty specialist)
Antonio Bastardo (lefty specialist/set up man)
Michael Stutes (middle relief)

It’s not such an easy decision for Charlie Manuel if he elects to take only 6 relievers. They fill the first 4 spots with the guys making the most money: Papelbon, Qualls, Kendrick, and Contreras. Barring a terrible spring, Dontrelle Willis will take one of the final two spots, which leaves either Antonio Bastardo or Michael Stutes.

Bastardo will probably get the nod over Stutes since he has more experience (2 full seasons vs. 1), pitched more in 2011 (64 games vs. 57), pitched better last season (2.64 ERA vs. 3.63), and offers another lefty in the bullpen. If it’s not Bastardo or Stutes, don’t be surprised if a great spring wins the job for David Herndon, Michael Schwimer, or even Justin De Fratus.

Position players

We know who will fill 11 spots:
Carlos Ruiz (C)
Chase Utley (2B)
Jimmy Rollins (SS)
Placido Polanco (3B)
John Mayberry (LF)
Shane Victorino (CF)
Hunter Pence (RF)


Brian Schneider (C)
Ty Wigginton (1B/3B)
Laynce Nix (LF/1B)
Jim Thome (PH/1B)

Michael Martinez will likely take one of the remaining spots. Despite hitting .196 last year with no power and average speed, the Phillies like Martinez for his defense. If the Phillies carry a 13 man bench, the real battle for the one remaining spot is between Juan Pierre and Scott Podsednick.

Juan Pierre has the odds on his side since he is two years younger, has a more accomplished career, and was healthy last year. Podsednick was injured all of last season, but he hit .300 combined over the previous two campaigns and hit nearly as many homers in his last two years (13) as Pierre has in his entire career (16). They both offer speed, but have poor stealing percentages and combined to lead the league in caught stealing 9 times.

Freddy Galvis and Domonic Brown are both long shots. The Phillies just re-signed Jimmy Rollins, so the only way Galvis makes the team right now is if Rollins gets injured. Brown has a slightly better chance if he tears it up in spring training, but the Phillies feel he needs more experience in the minors.

It's not likely the Phillies would keep Pierre and Podsednick even if they carry an extended bench. In that case, we may see Galvis or Brown because they are cheaper and can be optioned to Lehigh Valley if necessary. I doubt they would keep an extra bench man, but that would make for an intriguing storyline.

Be sure to check out more great articles at Phils Baseball.

By Philsbaseball
Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012

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