Camp Primer: The hitters

John Mayberry Jr. will be counted on to produce at the plate this season. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Here at The Phillies Zone, we're making the final preparations for a six-week trip to Clearwater. Most of this week's space has been dedicated to off-the-field business matters. Such is when the local baseball franchise morphs into a powerful commodity.

But fake baseball is nearing and that's better than no baseball. The Phillies will bring 57 players to camp this spring. Here's a brief thought on each position player on the roster (in alphabetical order). On Wednesday, we did the pitchers.



Erik Kratz — The Phillies kept this 31-year-old with 11 career games on the roster all winter. See Brian Schneider.

Carlos Ruiz — It was hard to expect a .400 on-base percentage again. Phillies are pleased so long as Ruiz can play at least 130 games.

Brian Schneider — He's back because of his familiarity with the pitching staff, but a .502 OPS won't cut it in 2012.

Sebastian Valle — As a 20-year-old, the heir apparent did all that could be asked while jumping to the pitcher-dominant Florida State League.


Freddy Galvis — The Phillies issued him No. 13 for this spring and typically arrange lockers numerically. You think that was by accident?

Harold Garcia — He missed most of 2011 with a torn ACL after a breakout 2010 that put him on the radar.

Cesar Hernandez — He's a baby (turns 22 in May) and could be ticketed for double-A Reading.

Ryan Howard — The Phillies publicly target May for a return, but that's optimistic. Don't be shocked if it's later.

Michael Martinez — Phillies officials raved about Martinez's defense long before they dealt Wilson Valdez.

Placido Polanco — This is a recurring theme around the horn: Expect the Phillies to limit his fragile body this spring.

Jimmy Rollins — It's not a contract year anymore, but the Phillies will gladly take a repeat of his 2011 production.

Jim Thome — Bet the under on starts at first base. As for the taters, don't doubt a man who has 604 of them.

Chase Utley — Maybe the injury questions should be focused in his direction; arthritis doesn't just go away.

Ty Wigginton — His on-base and slugging percentage nosedived after age 30. Now he's 34.


Domonic Brown — It's not his offense that concerns Phillies officials.

Tyson Gillies — The embattled prospect has one goal for 2012: Stay on the field.

John Mayberry Jr. — What happens if 296 plate appearances was too small of a sample size to render judgment?

Laynce Nix — He can mash righties, but his history indicates his nothing more than a platoon player at best.

Hunter Pence — He enters his prime years with his first eight-figure contract.

Shane Victorino — It's a contract year, no questions asked.



Tuffy Gosewisch — The pitchers love him. So does he stay at double A with the Baby Aces and mentor young Valle?

Steven Lerud — He's 27 with only nine career games at triple A.


Kevin Frandsen — A 50-game suspension for ritalin stained an otherwise solid 2011 season with the IronPigs.

Hector Luna — The definition of a AAAA player.

Pete Orr — If Martinez falters, Orr could ascend to the utility infielder job.


Lou Montanez — Once drafted 12 spots ahead of Chase Utley. True fact.

Juan Pierre — He's led the league in caught stealings seven times, including the last two years.

Scott Podsednik — He's Juan Pierre but better. Foot injuries could slow him.


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.