Saturday, August 1, 2015

Roster prediction (Version 2.0)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Exactly two weeks remain in Florida for the Phillies and there are just as many, if not more, questions than when pitchers and catchers reported.

Roster prediction (Version 2.0)

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Phillies prospect Freddy Galvis has a real shot at making the opening day roster. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Phillies prospect Freddy Galvis has a real shot at making the opening day roster. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Exactly two weeks remain in Florida for the Phillies and there are just as many, if not more, questions than when pitchers and catchers reported.

In our latest roster prediction, some of those unknowns are reflected. Read Version 1.0 of the roster here.

CATCHERS (2)
Carlos Ruiz
Brian Schneider 

Another light week for Ruiz, who has killed the ball when he's played (7 for 15 with two extra-base hits, two walks and no strikeouts). He's caught for parts of six games.

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INFIELDERS (6)
Ty Wigginton
Freddy Galvis
Placido Polanco
Jimmy Rollins
Jim Thome
Michael Martinez

Dun dun dun. Chase Utley's name does not appear here. Why? We still think there's a decent chance of him starting at second base on April 5 as Ruben Amaro Jr. has guaranteed. But until Utley actually takes the field, our prediction has him sidelined. Galvis has won over the major-league coaching staff with his spring performance. He'll play in the majors this season only if regular at-bats are there. If not, he's in triple A.

OUTFIELDERS (5)
John Mayberry Jr.
Shane Victorino
Hunter Pence
Laynce Nix
Juan Pierre

Again, the nod goes to Pierre over Scott Podsednik simply because of flexibility. Pierre can opt out of his contract March 30 if he's not added to the roster. Podsednik cannot leave the organization until June 1. This can obviously change if 12 days from now the Phillies believe Podsednik is that much better. Stat to watch: Podsednik has stolen five bases this spring without being caught. Pierre is only 2 for 4 in steals.

STARTERS (5)
Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Vance Worley
Joe Blanton

How many teams would take Kyle Kendrick as their fourth starter right now?

RELIEVERS (7)
Jonathan Papelbon
Antonio Bastardo
Chad Qualls
Mike Stutes
Kyle Kendrick
David Herndon
Jose Contreras

We're moving Contreras into the picture based upon his encouraging week of action. He pitched in two minor-league games and then made his Grapefruit League debut Sunday. Yes, he was hit hard. But he's on the mound, and with 13 days left in Florida, there is time for Contreras to leave camp with a decent amount of work under his belt. We'll keep Herndon on the roster as a 12th pitcher because the Phillies must be conservative with Contreras' usage. He won't pitch on back-to-back days — at least at the beginning of the season.

DISABLED LIST (2)
Ryan Howard
Chase Utley

We explained Utley above. If he does begin the season on the DL, it's not required he miss the first 15 days of the season. It can be back dated to March 26 at the earliest. He could be reinstated April 10 if that were the case.

FIRST FOUR OUT
Scott Podsednik
Brian Sanches
Kevin Frandsen
Raul Valdes

It's possible, if Utley were to be sidelined, the Phillies could opt for 11 pitchers and an extra infielder. That could help guys like Frandsen or Pete Orr. Hector Luna has had a decent spring, but he can't play shortstop and has little time at second base.

Check back next Monday for the latest predictions.


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

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