Monday, December 29, 2014

Wha' Happened?

The Phillies Zone tries to make sense of everything that happened yesterday.

Wha' Happened?

I've had a few hours to digest everything that happened yesterday.

Let's review:

  • Chase Utley is scheduled for surgery on his right hip next week in New York. He is expected to need four to six months to recover.
  • Pedro Feliz had lower back surgery and is expected to need eight to 12 weeks to recover.
  • The Phillies traded outfielder Greg Golson to the Texas Rangers for outfielder John Mayberry.
  • The Phillies put righthanders Carlos Carrasco and Drew Naylor, lefthander Sergio Escalona and catcher Joel Naughton on the 40-man roster.

Other than that, a pretty quiet day.

But what does it all mean? In terms of how it changes Ruben Amaro Jr.'s off-season plans, not much. The Phillies' top priority remains re-signing Jamie Moyer, which I believe will happen. Their other priorities include finding a solution in left field (Rocco Baldelli, Raul Ibanez and Pat Burrell remain possibilities) and adding another reliever to their bullpen (they have interest in righthander Juan Cruz). But Amaro made it pretty clear yesterday they are optimistic any time Utley misses will be minimal. So don't expect the Phillies to call up free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson's agent today. The Phillies are going to go with short-term solutions to their second base problem.

Eric Bruntlett filled in for shortstop Jimmy Rollins early this season when Rollins spent time on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. He could do the same at second base. Jason Donald, one of the organization’s top prospects, is hitting .407 in the Arizona Fall League and also could see time there. The Phillies had kicked around the idea of adding a utility infielder before they scheduled Utley for surgery. Free agents like Nick Punto, who played for the Phillies from 2001-03, and Damion Easley could make sense.

“I think we have coverage with Bruntlett and with the emergence of Donald,” Amaro said. “That does not mean that we won’t look to add, but I think if were to open the season today without Chase … we’re covered fairly well.

"You don’t necessarily replace an Utley, but at the same time we really feel … he’s going to be fairly close to ready, if not ready, by opening day. A lot of it depends on how the rehab goes, how the surgery goes. This is not an exact science. But we fully expect to have Chase Utley with us for the bulk of the season, so I’d have to say frankly as far as how we go about our business with our club, it probably won’t change significantly.”

Same goes for Feliz. The Phillies expect him back before Utley, so they think third base is even less of an issue than second base. Plus, if something with Feliz lingers, they have Greg Dobbs, Bruntlett and Donald to help out.

Mayberry is not the team's 2009 solution for left field. The Phillies acquired him because they have very little power in their minor-league system, and his power eventually could play big at cozy Citizens Bank Park -- if not in 2009, then in the future. But why trade Golson? Wasn't he an everyday outfielder of the future? Not necessarily. I had heard rumblings during the season that the Phillies projected Golson to be a fourth or fifth outfielder. Golson, the Phillies’ first round pick in 2004, hit .282 with 13 homers, 60 RBIs and 23 stolen based for double-A Reading, but also struck out an alarming 130 times. Maybe because the Phillies have Shane Victorino signed through 2011, they feel they could use a righthanded power bat more than a speed/defense guy.

*

Expect the Phillies to announce today the final coach for Charlie Manuel's staff. The Phillies had interviewed Rich Donnelly, Tim Bogar and Pete Mackanin.

Update (11:42 a.m.): The Phillies announced that Mackanin will be Manuel's new bench coach. That means Sam Perlozzo is the team's new third base coach.

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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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