Thursday, February 11, 2016

Seven Is Enough

Eric Bruntlett, the "other guy" in the trade that sent Brad Lidge to the Phillies, has played seven positions in his big-league career. The Phillies love that versatility.

Seven Is Enough

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Eric Bruntlett has played seven positions in the majors, every position except pitcher and catcher.

Could he catch?

"Seven is enough," Phillies bench coach Jimy Williams said.

The Phillies acquired Bruntlett and Brad Lidge for Geoff Geary, Michael Bourn and Mike Costanzo in a November trade with the Houston Astros. Charlie Manuel didn't know too much about Bruntlett before he arrived, but he likes what he sees.

"I like him," Manuel said. "It looks like he can do a lot of things. He's a better hitter than I expected. He's got good speed. He's going to help us."

Pat Gillick likes a bench with plenty of versatility, and he seems to have that. Jayson Werth and So Taguchi can play the three outfield positions (Werth also can catch in an emergency). Greg Dobbs can play first, second, third and the corner outfield positions. Chris Coste can play the corner infield positions and the outfield (although don't expect to see Coste in the field this year because he's strictly a catcher these days). And then there's Bruntlett, really the only true defensive replacement for Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.

That type of flexibility allows Manuel and Williams to get more creative with their in-game moves.

"There's no question it has been a big boost," Bruntlett said of his versatility. "Versatility is what has kept me around in the big leagues, where my value comes from. I don't know where I would have been otherwise."

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Ryan Madson allowed one run in three innings in a start last night against the Reds at Bright House Field.

Madson started because the Phillies didn't want Cole Hamels to face the Reds. Hamels is expectedt to face them the second week of the season. Madson is not a rotation candidate. They need him in the bullpen, and that's where they plan on him being.

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Now here's something you don't see every day.

Mike Schmidt is making wine. Well, he's not exactly stomping on grapes like this lady, but he's putting his name on a bottle of wine:

Mike Schmidt 548 Zinfandel.

It's for charity with 100 percent of Schmidt's proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Eos Estate Winery in Paso Robles, Calif., produces the wine, which will be available to the public in May. Expected price per bottle is $17. There will be a launch event held May 2 at Citizens Bank Park. Schmidt will be there.

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In other news, I will be producing a malt liquor -- not for charity -- in the coming months.

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