Friday, April 25, 2014
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Roster Primer: The Position Players

It's almost here. Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla., next week. Until then, we are counting down the days at The Phillies Zone by breaking down the roster. So get reacquainted or learn about the 61 players in camp.

Roster Primer: The Position Players

It's almost here. Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla., next week. Until then, we are counting down the days at The Phillies Zone by breaking down the roster. So get reacquainted or learn about the 61 players in camp.

Today is a look at the 19 position players on the 40-man roster, with 2013 opening-day age in parenthesis:

CATCHERS (3)

C Erik Kratz (32) — Kratz was the feel-good story of 2012. He tired in September, hitting .167/.231/.271 in 16 games (13 starts).

C Carlos Ruiz (34) — Ruiz, suspended for the first 25 games, can fully participate in spring training. There are plenty of questions he must answer.

C Sebastian Valle (22) — A lack of plate discipline has hamstrung Valle; he has 26 walks and 198 strikeouts in the last two seasons combined.

INFIELDERS (7)

UTIL Kevin Frandsen (30) — It was a magical 55-game run for Frandsen, who revived a career. With injury concerns all over the infield, he could be key again.

UTIL Freddy Galvis (23) — He compensated for time lost to a back injury by hitting .300/.351/.432 in 227 at-bats at Venezuelan winter ball.

2B Cesar Hernandez (22) — Once again, he is one of the youngest players in camp. His next test will be an entire season at triple A.

1B Ryan Howard (33) — No doubt, Howard was compromised by his Achilles tendon in 2012. Most concerning was his .604 OPS against lefties.

SS Jimmy Rollins (34) — Only six shortstops have ever mashed 23 or more home runs while 33 or older: Jose Valentin, Cal Ripken, Joe Cronin, Alex Gonzalez, Eddie Joost and Rollins.

2B Chase Utley (34) — It’s been two years since Utley played in a Grapefruit League game. All doubt lingers until he does that.

3B Michael Young (36) — Phillies third basemen in 2012: .272/.315/.357. Michael Young in 2012: .277/.312/.370.

OUTFIELDERS (9)

OF Domonic Brown (25) — Brown will not turn 26 until September. The Phillies want to see him stay on the field before awarding him a job.

OF Zach Collier (22) — Collier won a spot on the roster with a blazing Arizona Fall League. The former first-round pick is probably headed for double-A Reading.

OF Tyson Gillies (24) — His 2012 was encouraging, but the bigger picture screams caution. Gillies has played a total of 106 games in the last three years.

OF Ender Inciarte (22) — Inciarte, a Rule 5 pick known for his defense and speed, faces long odds to make the roster given the outfield logjam.

OF John Mayberry Jr. (29) — Trivia question: Who batted the second-most times for the 2012 Phillies? If it’s Mayberry again in 2013, there will be trouble.

OF Laynce Nix (32) — Remarkably, Nix will enter camp as the highest paid Phillies outfielder. He has to stay healthy, or else his spot could be in danger.

OF Ben Revere (24) — Revere stole 40 bases in 124 games. Give him a full season and he could be the first Phillie to 50 steals since Juan Samuel in 1985.

OF Darin Ruf (26) — Ruf had 12 games to show he belonged in September. There will be plenty at-bats to have this spring.

OF Delmon Young (27) — One of the great unknowns this spring is Young’s health. His microfracture surgery could limit him for much of Grapefruit League play.


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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

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