Examining the Phillies Roster – Phillies Nation

Examining the Phillies Roster

Soon enough, some choices will have to be made as to who will stay and who will go on the Phillies roster. Chase Utley is close to returning, as is Roy Oswalt. Behind them are Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge, both of whom could be back sometime next month. Brian Schneider is also out about a month, but Dane Sardinha will be relegated once he returns healthy.

Will Wilson stay or will he go, now?

That means four roster spots must be opened. Here is a look at the 25-man roster right now:

  • Infield: Howard, Valdez, Orr, Rollins, Polanco, Ruiz, Sardinha (7)
  • Outfield: Ibanez, Victorino, Francisco, Mayberry, Gload, Martinez (6)
  • SP: Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Worley (5)
  • RP: Madson, Bastardo, Romero, Baez, Kendrick, Stutes, Matheison (7)
  • DL: Lidge, Contreras, Oswalt, Utley, Schneider (5)

As I mentioned, you can pull Sardinha and add Schneider in month or so. Beyond that, it gets more difficult.

Chase Utley for Wilson Valdez

Sorry Wilson, your time might be up. Having found a better batter in Pete Orr, Valdez becomes expendable – that is, unless Ruben Amaro wants to toss rule-5 pick Michael Martinez aside, which seems like a long-shot. He made it this far on the roster, so why would they get rid of him now? If Martinez were released, he’d have to be offered back to the Washington Nationals first.

Orr’s defense is solid enough that he’s an upgrade over Valdez. He can also play multiple positions, including the outfield is need be. Martinez really hasn’t done much, but he’s four years younger than Valdez, who really hasn’t done much either. I think yanking Valdez might be the move here since Martinez is much faster and can also play several positions.

(Note: Thanks to Matt Gelb from the Philadelphia Inquirer for setting me straight – Valdez is out of options, therefore cannot be sent down.)

Roy Oswalt for Scott Matheison

This is pretty much a no-brainer and will likely be happening very soon. Sadly, it’s a numbers game for Matheison, who will again be sent down.

Or will Michael Martinez be offered back to the Nats?

Jose Contreras for Vance Worley

Once The Big Truck returns to the back end of the bullpen, Worley’s time here will be up, for the time being anyway. The Phillies want to keep him stretched out as a starter, so the right move is to put him back in Lehigh Valley once Contreras is ready. That’s still a few weeks away as Contreras has yet to go out on a rehab assignment. It still gives the Phillies an option should there be an injury to one of the starters. Worley has also proved to be a commodity in relief, although his primary role is as a starter.

Brad Lidge for ???

This is where it gets dicey for the Phillies. There are a few options here, although none are easy.

The simplest would be to take away Michael Stutes, a guy who has pitched well in Philly and deserves to stay. Stutes has been used in some big situations, even more so than incumbents Kendrick and Baez. Amaro and gang could point to the youth and the ease of sending him back to Triple-A, although it’s not the right move to make. Stutes was freed and needs to remain as such.

What about Baez? Is he finally expendable? With roughly half a year remaining (once Lidge is ready to return) Baez will only be owed in the $1-1.5 million range, an easy pill to swallow for the Phillies, especially knowing they have Stutes to fall back on. The only reason I can surmise as to why the Phils would keep Baez over Stutes is because of his relationship with Jose Contreras. Baez serves as his translator most of the time, and while that’s not a good reason to keep a pitcher with his numbers, it might be a reason for the team.

Could Kendrick be the odd guy out? It seems doubtful. He makes less than Baez and can start in a pinch. He can go multiple innings in relief as well.

This could all be a moot point by the time Lidge is ready, which might be sometime later next month. So much can change in that time.

UPDATE, 4:08 pm: Roy Oswalt has been activated from the disabled list and Vance Worley is headed back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Kind of a shock that they didn’t send Scott Mathieson back, but it’s obvious they want Worley to start on a regular schedule.

Click to comment


  1. Jay aka Phillyboy

    May 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    SADLY-wilson is a goner and i will be very,very happy to see baez gone!!!!!

  2. Josh

    May 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I say, stay young. Stutes needs to stay. Baez has been useless since the day they signed him. Give him the Adam Eaton treatment and send him home with his money.

    To add to the drama, how does the closer / setup roles play out? At the end of the season, the Phills will have to make a choice between Madson and Lidge (or neither) and I think the answer is clearly Madson. So with Ryan looking so good of late, why strip him of the closer role? In that case, does Lidge become the setup man? And what does that mean for Contreras…the guy who Charlie picked to close in front of Madson at the start of the season. Can Madson continue to pitch well in this role with guys looking over his shoulder?

    Overall these are all good problems to have for what has looks like a really good bullpen so far.

  3. Lefty

    May 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Tough decisions all around, but if we can get starters healthy, these are good problems to have. I don’t believe we have the luxury of letting Valdez go. Don’t worry, I have no crazy love affair with the guy like some seem to. He helped us last year and I appreciate that, nothing more.

    I’m just thinking that your piece leaves out the fact that we don’t really know if Chase will make it through the season, and even this morning I read that he may not be an everyday player for us when he comes back. Ruben said he’d rather have him healthier in less games than 60% in more games. If Valdez is out of options, and we let him go, and Polly gets hurt, or Jimmy, do we really trust those spots to Martinez? I’m not sold!

    If he is 28 years old and still couldn’t crack the Nationals roster, could he be that good? Only one year in the minors over .300? I just hope the FO is playing this right. Protecting Herndon all last season doesn’t look so good right now, although maybe he will improve. But the major point is, not all Rule 5’s are Shane Victorino’s, some of them just have to be returned.

    IMO there is only one sure thing, Pete Orr should be kept. His numbers may not show it, but he seems to be a very solid, hustling pro, replacement player.

    • Andrew From Waldorf

      May 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Yes he is 28 lefty

      I make some stuff up. But not a players easily verifiable age 🙂

  4. TheDipsy

    May 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Chuck – Continuing from another thread. You like those numbers for Ibanez? I think they stink. And his defense stinks. Its really, really nice that he tries. Buts its all about who can play. Ibanez will give up more runs because of his arm than he will have RBI and thats a fact. He can’t hit for power. He can’t hit for average. He can’t run. He can’t throw. He will catch the ball if its hit right at him. So that makes him a “half-tooler” as opposed to a “5 tool player”. He’s dead wood. Baez – gone. Kendrick – gone. Martinez – gone. Worley stays no matter what. He can fill Kendrick’s role. I hope we can get a mid level prospect for Kendrick. I doubt it.

    The Dipsy

    • Andrew From Waldorf

      May 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      He is near the tops of hits for May in MLB and defense in LF is as important Pat Burrell can play left.

      He is a stiff. but hes our stiff for 2011 and evrey hit he gets applaud him. Because I bet he isnt on a roster in 2012. So basicly this is it ala Geoff Jenkins.

  5. Tavian

    May 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Good thought-provoking article. But, what about the outfield ? Or, am I missing something?

    • Pat Gallen

      May 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      I didn’t tie Dom Brown into this because he’s a minor leaguer and is off the DL. So it only pertains to guys who are going to come back to the major league roster.

      But that’s another post itself – who’s spot would Brown take should they make the move to bring him up?

  6. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    “Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.”

    Branch Rickey

  7. TheDipsy

    May 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Brown plays right. BenFran AND Mayberry can play left. BenFran can play some CF and Shane can play RF. Thats too many moving parts though. AFW – The Phillies will not – WILL NOT – win a WS with Raul Ibanez at their LFer. Impossible. In post season ball, as you know, the ball finds the weakest player…time and time again. And Raul is thisclose to incompetent in the field. And I’m not one of those fielding nuts either. I expect my LF to be a good hitter and limited defensively. But Raul oughta be walking around with a cane and a tin cup out there.

    The Dipsy

  8. bfo_33

    May 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I’d let Valdez go also. We have Delmon Young at LV if another infielder goes down – better bat, worse glove than Valdez, would be pretty neutral, assuming Martinez could play short if Rollins goes down. Of the current crop, Orr is the guy I like out there every day (only 2 abs agasint lefties, both strikeouts, would like to see a bit more against lefties). Also agree about Worley, but not quite as strongly – he is better in every aspect of the game over KK, but chances are, a starter will go down again, would like to see him stretched out at LV vs working the pen (but Aug 31, I want Worley on the roster). Of all the arms in the pen, Madson is the best, would like to see him remain as closer, and hope Lidge doesn’t come back. All arms healthy, I think our best pen is KK for long relief, Stutes/Romero as the righty/lefty specialist, Bastardo and Conteras as set-up guys, and Madson as the closer. I don’t really care who is in there for garbage time.

  9. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I am a fielding nut and you can win with Pat Burrell or Raul in left. Basicly train me for 2 weeks and I can play left. Same for you Dipsy. You tube Greg Luzinski fielding.

    But I dont see a title with Ibanez. Not because of fielding though.

    The only player in the history of the world who couldnt play left or first is Mike Piazza.
    The mets tried it and he couldnt even play first. Disgraceful for such a high WAR

    If Utley can hit 30 still and run etc etc

    He would look mighty good in left next year. With the .900 plus OPS of course

  10. bacardipr05

    May 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I think you have to keep Kendrick he hasnt been that bad this year. He may implode later on but for now he has been ok. Ibanez has to go nothing against the man is just we need a better hitter an fielder. I dont think you can trade the guy even if we eat his contract. Lidge is totally expendable. Madson can close an Jose can be the back up closer if something was to happen to Madson (geez i hope not). I like Valdez but if it came down we have to keep Orr. To me that is a no brainer but who know what the FO might do there. I think its more between Martinez an Valdez. Im not sure what the hard on is for Mini-Mart an maybe he is showing something to Cholly that we cant see as reason enough to keep him. Baez serves as a translator for Jose. Hmmm I know they are friends but Jose has been around MLB enough to know players come an go. JC i believe speaks Spanish and Polly as well. The Phils will have to make some moves more so this year if they expect to go far in the playoffs.

  11. bacardipr05

    May 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    PS…. i would like them to add another Catcher Schneider is pretty much done….

    • Pat Gallen

      May 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Bacardi, I too think Schneider is done. Super nice guy, really intelligent, great in the clubhouse, but he’s just getting up there – a lot of miles.

      As for the Baez/Contreras thing, Baez really hasn’t done a thing and they can’t trust him in any situation now, so whats the point of keeping him? MAYBE his relationship with Contreras has something to do with it…never know. It’s odd, but he’s been here this long and no one knows why. Guess they want to get what they can out of him.

  12. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    On a side note Dipsy
    I was the one sayng Ibanez is the worst every day outfielder in the majors a year ago.

    He is about a zero at this point I agree. Play him situationaly against righties.

    But he is a charachter guy and hes not a problem.
    He isnt taking himself out fo the lineup like Posada.

    I think you can win with hm on your roster. And he can conrtibute some. He just isnt an every day outfielder and hasnt been one since 2009 july

  13. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I really like Schneider as a back up. He is left handed and was always known for his bat and not his glove and he is a veteran.
    For more than 2 weeks youd have to look for a major league level catcher defensively.
    But he fits nice on the Phillies roster.

  14. Chuck

    May 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Ibanez is a better fielder than Burrell, in my opinion. I’ve seen him get to balls that Pat the Bat could not….or would not. 110%. That’s what Raul gives you.

    Again, he is not worth the last year of the deal. But he was the best option for left field after the 2008 season and that contract is what it took to get him. He helped us get to the WS in ’09, the playoffs last year and veryy well could this year as well.


    Valdez should stay. The Phillies need flexibility in the infield. Baez should go.

  15. Pat Gallen

    May 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    By the way, just text back and forth with Matt Gelb. He says Pete Orr has one option left to go to the minors, so perhaps he’s a candidate to go down, as Wilson Valdez does not. That would be a shame, Orr has played decent enough.

  16. Publius

    May 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Well here’s one already done:

    Phillies activate Oswalt from DL. Option Worley to Triple-A.

    • Pat Gallen

      May 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      I still thought they would keep Worley because Contreras could be back within 2 weeks, but I guess they wanna keep him stretched.

      And my article is useless.

  17. Chuck

    May 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    See, I would have kept Worley and gotten rid of Baez. Do we really need a freaking translator???

    • Chuck

      May 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

      But I get that he needs to stay stretched out as a starter.

  18. Publius

    May 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    That being said, Baez and Valdez need to get gone, ASAP. I would be VERY hesitant to call up Lidge even when he is “healthy”. I guess Stutes would be on the chopping block when he is back

    The more interesting question is what happens when Brown returns. When Dom Brown is ready to come up, then the Phils need to kick around one of three ideas. Either 1. trade one of Mayberry Jr./Ben Fran, 2. make the outfield a total platoon job (With Ibanez/Brown vs. righties, Mayberry/Ben Frank vs. lefties) or 3. DFA Ibanez, give Brown RF full time and use Mayberry/Francisco in LF.

    Option 1 Is not a great solution, since it costs us an OFer next year, though with the current glut of pitching and dearth of even mediocre bats, Mayberry or Francisco might be able to be turned into a serviceable reliever.

    Option 2 isn’t great either, since it results in Brown sitting a lot, which is a large factor of his poor results at the pros so far. If Dom is up, he needs to play pretty much as much as possible. Last year Cholly showed his inability to play him, which led to him getting few ABs and thus not developing. A repeat would be disastrous.

    Option 3 would be my preference, though probably the least likely to happen. Ibanez is hitting a terrible .198/.270/.261 with 1 homer vs. teams that aren’t the Nationals. He’s atrocious in LF and honestly has little to offer over a replacement player or one of Francisco/Mayberry in LF. He has no business being on this team. Eliminating Ibanez would give Dom playing time and let the OF unit get experience, since they will most likely be our OF for 2012 as well.

    Not a lot of good options, and the best one is probably too much for Rube to swallow.

    • BrianC

      May 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      I COMPLETELY agree with #3…with Mayberry getting the edge in playing time in left. Francisco can spell all 3 outfield positions as our fourth outfielder. Dom Brown needs to be brought up (eg. Stanton and Heyward of last year) and PLANTED in right field….PLEASE do not do the same thing we did to Howard, not starting his career until 25. He has great talent and the ability to spark the team. A starting outfield of Mayberry, Victorino, and Brown sounds much better than the current debacle. Mayberry and Brown at least have the potential to get on base and hit for some power.

  19. Chuck

    May 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I really hope Cholly doesn’t annoint Lidge as “my guy” when it’s time for him to return. As far as I’m concerned, the closer job is Madson’s to lose at this point.

  20. TheDipsy

    May 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Excuse me. Ibanez IS a worse fielder than Burrell. And Burrell a better hitter than Raul. We cannot win a WS with Raul as our STARTING LFer. He’s just too, too poor defensively. I don’t even wanna platoon him. Everyone just watch the next ten games and make mental notes of all the balls that get hit to left that an average LFer could have gotten to but Raul didn’t. All the guys that take an extra base or score on a ball coming out of LF. The liberties runners take with Raul’s arm is obscene. How about Mayberry/Brown semi platoon in RF, Shane in CF and BenFran in LF. The problem with Ibanez is that if he’s not your everyday LFer, then you gotta let him go because he can’t do anything else. I’m not screaming at the rain. Raul is THAT bad.

    The Dipsy

    • Publius

      May 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm


      • Chuck

        May 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm

        And I friggen disagree.

  21. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Dipsy I will give it extra attention.

    But LF is the least important defensive position. Less than 1b even.

    I want to see Mayberry Brown or anyone there too though.

    the Phils will make a deal for a corner outfielder and a reliever before its all said and done.

    Manny Ramirez once cut off a throw from centerfield in left. you put the worst of the worst there

  22. Bob in Bucks

    May 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    As Larry Bowa has said, I would like to see Madson come back after he blows a save. He has yet to demonstrate a key requirement for being a closer – amnesia. He has the stuff but he still gets amped up and we need to see him handle failure. Last year he started bad as a closer and could not get it out of his mind. Another thing to consider, he ain’t ours next year and Boras will put him on the block so don’t assume he will be in Phila in 2012.

    As said by others, our bullpen is fine and I have little concern if it is Baez or someone else pitching when the game is lost. Not worth worrying about and by the way he has not done that badly this year.

    Valdez or Martinez, take your pick when Utley comes back.

    The real challenge is the OF and my suggestion is that we keep 5 OF and drop an infielder. However, much of this has to do with how much Utley can play. Seems Charlie loves Martinez and now he plays CF!

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