CLEARWATER, Fla. — The construction of the Phillies' bench will come to a resolution sooner rather than later because the team must make a decision on infielder Yuniesky Betancourt by Sunday. Betancourt will ask for his release if he is not added to the 25-man roster, his agent said Friday.
"Our preference would be to stay with the Phillies but it's out of our control," Alex Esteban said. "We would definitely be opting out and seeing what's out there."
Esteban has not received an inclination of which way the Phillies are leaning. The Phillies have committed $850,000 to Kevin Frandsen and are enamored of Freddy Galvis' defense. If the Phillies keep both of those infielders, plus a backup catcher, that leaves two bench jobs. One will go to whichever outfielder — John Mayberry Jr. or Laynce Nix — is not starting opening day.
The 25th man could be Darin Ruf, but the Phillies probably want him to see regular time at triple A. That leaves Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte, who has never played above single A, and Jermaine Mitchell in camp as candidates. Mitchell was a six-year, minor-league free agent from Oakland.