As we enter the last two weeks of Spring Training, I think I’m past the dead-arm period- just haven’t been inspired to write the past week plus- depressed by Utley’s injury, tired of hearing from the goofball Bill Conlin that Domonic Brown is a bust, and sick of reading about how the Phils offense was struggling- come on guys- it’s Spring Training, who cares how the offense is doing this early. Every year, the same writers run out of stories, start making things up, like the Phils trading for Michael Young- the stupidest of all from Phil Rogers who wrote that the Phillies would consider sending Oswalt or HAMELS to Texas for Young. Sure, no problem, the Phillies will give one of the top pitchers in baseball for a player making too much money on the downhill side of his career. And that writer has a job?!!
Well, enough ranting- I could go on for pages with all the dumb things I’ve read by professional writers the past two weeks- time to address the Phils roster. Easy one of course is that Francisco is now the starting right fielder- although I believe by July Brown will have supplanted him. With regard to 2B, let’s assume Utley will be out for at least a few weeks to start the season- despite the remarks by Amaro that there has been small progress. While Valdez will be the opening day 2B- ugh in my book- it leaves several openings for back ups. So, assuming the Phils have 13 slots for non-pitchers, looks like the following to me:
Regulars (Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez, Howard, Victorino, Francisco, Valdez, Ruiz)
Bench (Gload, Schneider, Mayberry, Michael Martinez, Josh Barfield). I’m thinking Martinez over Young because they would have to return Martinez if not on the roster plus he plays shortstop- but can certainly see them taking Young instead).
Pitchers (12 total)
Starters (Obvious 5)
Relievers: (Lidge, Madson, Romero, Contreras, Bastardo, Kendrick (although I would take Worley) Baez (but by midseason, he will be replaced by Stutes))
I think, despite the loss of Utley, and injury to Brown, the Phillies are the best team in NL, and should still easily outdistance the Braves.