Thursday, December 18, 2014

Amaro: Dobbs decision was difficult

The Phillies made a flurry of roster moves Tuesday afternoon and it meant good news for some, bad news for others and surprising news for one member of the 2008 World Series championship team.

Amaro: Dobbs decision was difficult

The Phillies have designated Greg Dobbs for assignment. (Ron Cortes / Staff file photo)
The Phillies have designated Greg Dobbs for assignment. (Ron Cortes / Staff file photo)

The Phillies made a flurry of roster moves Tuesday afternoon and it meant good news for some, bad news for others and surprising news for one member of the 2008 World Series championship team.

The good news department: For just the 12th time this season shortstop Jimmy Rollins took the field as a member of the starting lineup after ending a second stint on the disabled list with a strained right calf muscle.

Mike Zagurski also was a happy man after being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The left-handed reliever last pitched in the big leagues in 2007, then missed the entire 2008 season after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his left elbow.

The bad news department: Catcher Carlos Ruiz, after being hit in the head by a broken bat Friday night against Minnesota, was placed on the disabled list because he has a concussion.

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The surprising news: Reserve Greg Dobbs was designated for assignment, which means that both Wilson Valdez and Juan Castro remained on the roster as backup infielders. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said the Dobbs’ decision was difficult even though the left-handed hitting reserve was only hitting .152 (10-for-66) with one home run and six RBIs. He had one hit and two RBIs in 25 at-bats as a pinch-hitter after hitting .167 with one home run and four RBIs as a pinch-hitter a year ago.

“Dobber has been a very, very productive player for us over the last several years,” Amaro said. “He helped us win a World Series and he helped us get back to the World Series and it’s hard. That role is not an easy role and it’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I’ve lived it myself, so I have some empathy about how difficult that job is.”

Amaro said the Phillies have 10 days to decide what will happen next with Dobbs, who was the last bench player remaining from the Phillies’ 2008 World Series championship team. The general manager is hoping that Dobbs clears waivers and accepts an outright assignment to Lehigh Valley. It’s also possible the Phillies could trade Dobbs.

“At some point we may have to put him on waivers and selfishly, if we do that, I hope he gets through … because I think he can still be a productive player for us,” Amaro said. “He just has not been as productive as he has in the past.”

Dobbs, claimed off waivers from Seattle in 2007, was extremely productive in his first two seasons with the Phillies, batting a combined .284 with 19 home runs and 95 RBIs in 550 at-bats. He also was a tremendous pinch-hitter in his first two seasons. He batted .355 with two home runs and a major-league leading 18 RBIs as a pinch-hitter in 2007, then hit .292 with two home runs and 13 RBIs the following season. He also set a team record with 22 pinch-hits in 2008, then batted .500 (7-for-14) during the Phillies’ postseason run.

Amaro said the Phillies decided to keep both Valdez and Castro on the roster in case Rollins’ right calf continues to be an issue.

Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
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