Cliff Lee to make Phillies debut tomorrow; Who goes?

Phillies Lee Baseball
Cliff Lee will make his debut as a Phillie tonight against the San Francisco Giants. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Cliff Lee will make his Phillies debut tomorrow against the Giants.

More from the newly-acquired lefty shortly.


The first two roster moves to come as a result of the Cliff Lee/Ben Francisco trade are not a surprise. Steven Register, who allowed one run on three hits in two innings of his only appearance, was sent back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. John Mayberry Jr., who is 10-for-53 with four home runs, eight RBI and 22 strikeouts in 35 games, was also sent down. Mayberry has had four at-bats since the All-Star Break.


The more interesting transactions should come with Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero return from the disabled list. Durbin and Condrey are eligible to return Aug. 7. J.C. Romero is eligible to return Aug. 4.

Here is a look at the non-regular players currently on the Phillies roster:

Pitchers: Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre, Chan Ho Park, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, Rodrigo Lopez, Tyler Walker

Bench players: Greg Dobbs, Matt Stairs, Paul Bako, Ben Francisco, Eric Bruntlett

Kendrick and Walker are the two obvious demotions once the first two relievers return. Beyond that, there is no clear answer to who the third will be. And assuming Pedro Martinez is ready within the next week to 10 days, there will have to be another roster spot cleared.

Here are your options. Remember, two of the following players will have to be off of the roster once Martinez arrives:

Rodrigo Lopez, RHP: Lopez makes his fifth start of the season tonight. He has been steady in his first four. It is obvious that he won't have a spot in the rotation. But he has pitched before as a reliever. In 26 career relief appearances, he has posted a 2.95 ERA and held batters to a .209 average. But the Phillies don't have much invested of him. They could designate him for assignment, hoping that he would clear waivers and accept a demotion to the minor leagues. If another team claimed him, or if he became a free agent, they would owe him nothing.

Eric Bruntlett, INF: It doesn't seem likely that the Phillies would go with four players on the bench for the rest of their season. While Bruntlett is hitting just .125 this season, he is the only option off the bench should Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley need a blow.

Clay Condrey, RHP: When healthy, Condrey has pitched well this season. And he is relatively cheap. If the Phillies designated him for assignment, there is a good chance he'd be picked up by another team. The Phillies need all the bullpen depth they can get.

Chad Durbin, RHP: Durbin is on a one-year deal, so he could also be designated for assignment. Seeing as though he is making $2 million, he isn't a likely candidate to be claimed. He would then have to accept a demotion and maintain his salary, or become a free agent and forfeit it. He's been solid for the Phils the last two years, and again, they need all the arms they can get.

Jamie Moyer, LHP: The most interesting piece to the puzzle. If the Phillies want to keep J.A. Happ in the rotation, where it appears he belongs, then Moyer seems to be without a role, unless the club goes to a six-man rotation. Moyer is not an ideal bullpen piece. But while it may not always look pretty, he is 6-1 with a 3.51 ERA in his last seven starts.