Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Happ In, Roster Almost set

The Phillies have yet to announce their playoff roster, but by process of elimination we have a pretty good idea who is on it. Obviously, the only players who are candidates are the ones who still had lockers in the club house yesterday. J.A. Happ was one of them, and he told me earlier today that he was told a couple days ago by Rich Dubee that he will be on the roster as a long relief pitcher. Happ was pretty pumped up. Greg Golson was not in the clubhouse. He is likely down in Florida in the instructional leagues. There was some speculation that the Phillies would keep Golson around for his speed and base-running ability, but by keeping him the Phillies essentially would have had to forfeit a pinch-hitter, since Golson is still extremely raw at the plate (he went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts this September).

Happ In, Roster Almost set

The Phillies have yet to announce their playoff roster, but by process of elimination we have a pretty good idea who is on it. Obviously, the only players who are candidates are the ones who still had lockers in the club house yesterday. J.A. Happ was one of them, and he told me earlier today that he was told a couple days ago by Rich Dubee that he will be on the roster as a long relief pitcher. Happ was pretty pumped up. Greg Golson was not in the clubhouse. He is likely down in Florida in the instructional leagues. There was some speculation that the Phillies would keep Golson around for his speed and base-running ability, but by keeping him the Phillies essentially would have had to forfeit a pinch-hitter, since Golson is still extremely raw at the plate (he went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts this September).

Happ's inclusion would seem to indicate that one of the relievers that has been on the team all season will not be on the initial roster. Seanez told reporters he knew it was a possibility that he might not be on the team. He hasn't heard one way or another yet. But he said he was OK with whatever the coaching staff decided was best for the team. Even if he isn't on the roster, he'll likely travel with the team in case of injury. And the Phillies can change their roster prior to the next round if they make it. So not being included on the NLDS 25-man wouldn't end Seanez's hopes of pitching in the postseason this year.

Right now, here is a pretty good bet as to the identity of the roster:

Starting pitchers (4): LHP Cole Hamels, RHP Brett Myers, LHP Jamie Moyer, RHP Joe Blanton

Analysis: This is set in stone. Charlie Manuel was asked during his press conference whether Hamels could start Game 4 on short rest. He pretty much said the Phillies will have options for a fourth game. But I think Joe Blanton is a more likely possibility, unless the Phillies are facing an elimination game.

Relievers (7): RHP Brad Lidge, RHP Chad Durbin, LHP J.C. Romero, RHP Ryan Madson, RHP Clay Condrey, LHP J.A. Happ, LHP Scott Eyre.

Analysis: The Brewers are a right-handed dominant team at the plate, so the Phillies obviously would love to keep as many right-handed arms as possible. But Prince Fielder is a big lefty bat, which means it is likely that Eyre or Romero will be called upon to get him out at some point. Happ hasn't had great success as a reliever, but he fills a couple of roles. First of all, he is another lefty arm who can be called upon if the situation mandates. His biggest role, however, will be to pick up some innings of a starter falters. Given a couple of shaky starts by Brett Myers, that could be important.

Regulars (8): SS Jimmy Rollins, 2B Chase Utley, 1B Ryan Howard, LF Pat Burrell, CF Shane Victorino, RF Jayson Werth, 3B Pedro Feliz, C Carlos Ruiz.

Analysis: No surprises here.

Bench (6): LH Matt Stairs, LH Greg Dobbs, LH Geoff Jenkins, RH Chris Coste, RH Eric Bruntlett, RH So Taguchi

Analysis: It's hard to see the Phillies keeping eight relievers, which means Taguchi is likely in. The Brewers are keeping 12 pitchers, but it's hard to see the Phillies doing that. Last season, they kept just 10. Taguchi has struggled this season, but he is a right-handed bat and it'd be tough for the Phillies to go with just two righties off the bench. Taguchi is also experienced in the postseason, and he can be used as a defensive replacement/pinch runner. I'm sure there will be a lot of people who think Golson should have been kept around. But the Phillies went with the more complete player.

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Manuel said he opted to pitch Myers in game two and Moyer in game three because of the home/away situation. Myers has performed much better at CBP this season than on the road (See the older blog posts for a complete breakdown). Moyer, meanwhile, has been much better on the road. Manuel said he trusts the veteran Moyer in what is sure to be a loud environment in the domed Miller Park.

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Shane Victorino wouldn't answer questions about his right shin, which was badly bruised in a collision with Jimmy Rollins on Saturday. But Victorino said he is ready to go, and Manuel said he was planning on having him start in center field.

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The Phillies are working out right now. Just batting practice and some running. One other thing: the Phils are keeping catcher Lou Marson around to travel with the team and catch bullpen sessions. Needless to say, he's pretty excited about being along for the ride.

David Murphy Daily News Staff Writer
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