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 pitcher on the roster (in alphabetical order). On Thursday, we'll do the position players.
Phillippe Aumont — Even if he doesn't make the club out of spring training, he'll pitch in Philadelphia sometime in 2012.
Antonio Bastardo — The eighth inning is his to lose, despite the Phillies not publicly saying so.
Joe Blanton — His right elbow is still a question mark, but Phillies officials maintain he can be a reliable factor.
Jose Contreras — Hard to expect remotely anything from the 40-year-old until he proves he can stay healthy.
Justin De Fratus — His stuff isn't as good as Aumont's, but he has answered every challenge so far.
Jake Diekman — Lefties hit .099 in 91 at-bats against the 25-year-old at double-A Reading.
Roy Halladay — As a Phillie, he's made 70 starts (including the postseason). The Phillies have won 49 of them.
Cole Hamels — He's this close, so expect Hamels to test the market come October barring a lavish offer from the Phillies.
David Herndon — After the all-star break, Herndon quietly posted a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings.
Kyle Kendrick — His quality 2011 and relatively low 2012 salary could make him a trade candidate to stay below the luxury tax.
Cliff Lee — How different would the winter have been if Lee doesn't blow a four-run lead in Game 2?
Jonathan Papelbon — The last pitch he threw secured one of the worst collapses in baseball history. Now he's the highest-paid reliever ever.
Chad Qualls — A plummeting strikeout rate and downright scary road numbers away from Petco Park make this signing a risk.
J.C. Ramirez — He's inconsistent with a big arm. Could eventually be moved to the bullpen.
Joe Savery — The feel-good story of last September, Savery can now attempt a career as a lefty specialist.
Michael Schwimer — His brief tenure in the majors notwithstanding, Schwimer could still find a role someday. Think Chad Durbin.
Mike Stutes — The Phillies never could have expected 62 innings from the rookie. Now can he make adjustments?
Dontrelle Willis — He's on a non-guaranteed deal this spring, so the veteran lefty must prove a role in the bullpen suits him.
Vance Worley — The rest of baseball has plenty to study after a shocking 2011.
Dave Bush — The Conestoga grad could lead the IronPigs rotation.
Scott Elarton — He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008, but the Phillies apparently saw something that merited an invitation to big-league camp.
Jeremy Horst — Acquired in the Wilson Valdez trade, Horst is another lefty reliever option.
Austin Hyatt — At best, he's an innings-eater in the majors. First, he'll take a stab at triple A.
Pat Misch — Often on the Mets' yo-yo, Misch has value as a lefty swing man.
Joel Pineiro — He's pitched in only six minor-league games since 2001. But if he's willing to spend time in triple A, he could provide fine depth.
David Purcey — He was traded twice in 2011 and played for three teams. Of course he's lefthanded.
B.J. Rosenberg — Looks nothing more than organizational fodder at this point.
Brian Sanches — Take away one horrific outing when Jack McKeon abused him and Sanches had a 3.22 ERA last season. It was 2.26 in 2010 and 2.56 in 2009.
Raul Valdes — Lefties have hit for a career .322 average off this lefty specialist.
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