Phillies Spring Training (Part 3) Bench

25 Feb

Based on my prior blog about the Phillies bullpen I said that the team will probably carry 7 relievers. That means the roster will consist of 5 starters, 7 relievers, 8 starting position players, and 5 bench players. There will be immense competition for the last couple spots on the bench. It is assumed that Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, and possibly Wilson Valdez (depending on competition from other utility players in camp) have secured spots. That leaves 2 spots available and a bunch of players trying to prove their worth in camp. I will take a look at each of these guys below:

The Loser of Ben Francisco & Domonic Brown – They will compete against each other during spring training to see who will become the starting RF. It could end being a tie and using a platoon situation, which is probably the best situation because I feel you can use either of those 2 to fill in for Ibanez on certain days as well as both could bring production off the bench.

John Mayberry Jr. – He is a dark horse, I feel that he is ready and prepared to take a role off the bench in order to ensure staying with the Phillies instead of being shipped off to AAA. If he could excel in a pinch hitting role it will not just help the team’s bench production, but his other assets such as running the base paths and playing OF on some days.

Delwyn Young – As a Non-Roster Invitee at Spring Training he is out to claim the last spot on the bench. The former Pirate and Dodger could be helpful off the bench because he is a switch hitter. That is always a nice thing coming off the bench so Charlie Manuel could play matchups against opposing pitchers. He does have a little power, but he must have a good Spring in order to make the final roster.

Robb Quinlan – In essence he looks like just another Ross Gload. He could play outfield but he is not good enough to play the field very much. He is mainly a first baseman just like Gload and we all know he will not play much there because of Ryan Howard. Unless he can prove that he is an excellent pinch hitter from the right side there is no room on the roster for him.

Michael Martinez – He is a Rule 5 Draft selection and we all know the Phillies like to take these players and for the most part they turn out to be pretty good. He has a little upside as a versatile fielder playing both infield and outfield. Also is a switch hitter and has a little base running skill. He will have to really show some potential in order for the Phillies to keep him around all year. He did get an RBI in the FSU game yesterday while playing CF.

Based on my analysis of these players the last 2 spots will go to the loser of the Francisco & Brown competition and John Mayberry Jr. It will all come down to who offers the best potential to replace Greg Dobbs and his pinch-hitting. I feel that the last 2 spots will be filled with OF’s no matter what because Wilson Valdez proved he can be a utility man for all 3 infield position last year and there is no need to change that. I also feel the last spot will be a right-handed or switch hitter because Ross Gload is already left-handed and Domonic Brown is as well.

It will be exciting to see who wins out these final roster spots, and I will keep you up to date on who is helping/hurting themselves throughout the Spring Training games.

-DB

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