Pierre, Podsednik, And The Last Spot On The Roster – Phillies Nation
2012 Spring Training

Pierre, Podsednik, And The Last Spot On The Roster

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Juan Podsednik, or Scott Pierre, or something like that. These two guys are quite similar–both lefty/lefty’s and around the same height and weight. They are around the same age at 34 and 35, have career slash lines in the same ballpark, and even are close in average amount of stolen bases per 162 games. At this point in their careers, both of them should play slightly below average defense. Even more, they both have World Series Rings with other clubs. One of these guys will be the 25th man on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Juan Pierre has the household name, and is a newcomer to the organization, which could mean added pressure to succeed. So far this Spring, he has five hits in twenty at-bats (.250 AVG), with three walks to go along with just one stolen base in three tries. He’s struck out three times and has yet to record an extra base hit.

On the other side, Scott Podsednik has eight hits in 26 at-bats (.308 AVG), two walks to go with four strikeouts, but has a perfect stolen base rate, as he is three-for-three. He also has three doubles.

At this point, Pods looks to be in the lead on paper–his .308/.379/.423 to Pierre’s .250/.348/.250–but it’s still a close race. If the remainder of Spring Training is anything like the first few weeks, the competition could come right down to the last few games. Regardless though, both of these guys bring very similar skill sets. It is almost a toss-up of who is playing best right now, for who is best suited for the final spot on the roster, rather than who is historically better.

Personally, I’d like to see Pierre make the roster over Pods for one simple reason: He doesn’t strike out. Like, ever. Over his career, Pierre has struck out measly 5.7% of the time, compared to Podsednik’s 14.4%. This means that Pierre puts the ball in play a lot, which is a far more effective than a strikeout, even if it is a weak ground ball to second base.

For 2012, Pierre is projected by various predictors and experts to have anywhere between a 5.9% and 7.1% (average of 6.73%) strikeout rate, which would be the lowest of any Phillies hitter (minimum 100 PA) since Placido Polanco in 2005. In other words, the Phillies haven’t had a guy as good as Pierre at putting the ball in play since pre-Scott-Rolen-trade-Polanco. They could use one.

As a bench player, nothing is more defeating to the club than to come into the batters box as a pinch hitter only turn around and walk back after a strike out. A game event like that has a negative effect on the entire team’s mentality, especially in the late innings. Pierre wouldn’t be the go-to pinch hitter in a tight situation, but when he does come in, his ability to put the ball in play will be beneficial.

You could argue that Podsednik’s ability to hit for extra bases more often negates Pierre’s edge in strikeout rate, and it’d be a valid argument, but I think the Phillies could really use Pierre more than they could use Pods. So for that one stat alone, the one that separates these two players the most, I would want Pierre as my last guy on the bench. Plus he has one of the most peculiar first name-last name combinations in baseball.

Who do you guys want to win the Pierre vs. Podsednik battle?

Click to comment


  1. Manny

    March 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Agreed on all counts. But if Pod keeps it up throughout the rest of ST, I’ll switch over to his camp.

  2. philsphan914

    March 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm


  3. TradeDomBrown

    March 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I like them both, but i still think its too early to tell. A lot of time in ST. Possible maybe neither one makes it…

  4. Mazinman

    March 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I want the player who has played the best to win. Both would make nice additions to the team so I am not rooting for one over the other. I am all for hard work getting rewarded and the better player in the spring getting the spot.

  5. Ryne Duren

    March 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    did any of you guys evwer read the bleacher report? who the heck are these morons? do they live in a bubble? i just read an article on power hitters the phils could pursue in tha absence of howard. he named d wright,(injured) cespedes(signed by the A’s?) , trumbo of the angels, granderson of the yankees. paaaleeeese!

    • schmenkman

      March 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. 90%+ of what I’ve seen on BR has been pretty bad.

    • Jeff Dowder

      March 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      Bleacher Report always seems to be written by a group of middle school kids.

  6. delearyous

    March 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    how can anyone discount what montanez is doing this spring? or for that matter brown? if you wanna base this last spot off of two weeks of performance in March, then the hands-down winner isn’t in pierre or pods.

    but knowing that montanez won’t be this guy and that the roster spot is not strictly a matter of who performs best over a month’s-span of games, i think you just take whichever of the two guys seems healthier. they both have a history of injuries that make their speed (each of their best weapon on the field) even less intimidating. i realize pierre is historically known for not stiking out much, but he just as easily kills a rally he started by bunting his way on to 1st, by getting thrown out stealing 2nd.

    i think pods offers a little better of a fielder and a significantly better hitter at this stage in the game. pierre used to be a .300 hitter when he could slap balls to the right of the SS. he can no longer do that, and he only steals like 75% of his bases successfully. not to mention the guy doesnt seem to to leave his heart out there like he used to. he hardly busts it down the line on a dribbler. pods, to me, has shown way more hustle, and that speaks way more about who should be on a team than anything

    • Don M

      March 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Montanez is a journeyman with bad MLB numbers … having success against pitchers tying to build arm strenth and work on certain pitches, etc ..

      Dom Brown is best suited in playing everyday in AAA instead of part of an MLB platoon situation.

      I agree about letting Pods and Pierre play it out though – they both play the same role, and whoever looks like they can help the team most will be given that bench spot

  7. bacardipr05

    March 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Im in the Pierre camp but it looks it might be Pods so far. Its still a little premature neither player is probably the same and both are aging. I have to think one of these guys makes the cut. We all know Shane will make his yearly trip to the DL and as of yet we arent 100% sure if Mayberry will duplicate his 2nd half performance of last year. It will be nice to have either of this guy as back up and insurance. While still having Brown as the emergency call up guy.

  8. Jaron B

    March 15, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    – Defense & Stolen Base Pctg. => No contest
    – Offense: Pierre’s speed plus low strikeout rate = better opportunity to get a hit by speed alone (double play break-ups). It’s more demoralizing to strikeout than to ground out. Posednick’s speed plus a grounder could mean a hit, but Pierre, over his career, has a lower K rate and has more opportunities to get on base than Posednick. Posednick has earned himself a call-up should there be an injury to Mayberry, Nix, Victorino, Pence or Pierre. If Pierre doesn’t pick up the pace, Posednick deserves the nod based on better average – similar career numbers for both players mean a coin flip. Do you take the better ST avg. in Posednick or the lower strikeout batter in Pierre? In that case, I’d pick for average but if Pierre hits above .275 or works pitch counts better than Pods, I’d go with Pierre.

    • schmenkman

      March 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      1) 60-70 at bats in ST is a very small sample to base a decision on
      2) bating average is a bad stat to use, especially in a small sample, when a few bloopers falling in (or not) make a big difference

      Podsednik turns 36 on Sunday (3/18), by the way. Pierre is 34 1/2.

      Defensively, Pierre was better when he was younger, but I’d say they’re both about average today.

      Not sure what you mean about Stolen Base Pctg, since their career #s are virtually identical, 74.7% vs. 74.5%, although Pierre has been slightly better recently.

      They were similar hitters in 2009-2010. Pierre declined last year, but Podsednik managed only a .735 OPS in the minors.

      Hard choice. Or easy, since you can argue there’s not much difference.

  9. psujoe

    March 15, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Pierre is no longer a threat to steal a base. He gets thrown out way too much these days. I’d like to have both these guys on the roster. How is Nix doing?

    • Jeff Dowder

      March 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Nix has a two year guaranteed deal, so he could go without a hit in spring training and still make the opening day roster. They aren’t eating $2.5 million before he even steps on the field.

  10. Bob in Bucks

    March 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Either way an upgrade over last year.

    I would take Posednick. We need all the cresapartners base hits we can get without Howard and Utley.

    • schmenkman

      March 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm


  11. betasigmadeltashag

    March 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I know we need to discuss such things but really the 25th man on the team, who will probably only PH if needed early in a game like the 5 or 6th inning. Or extra innings when the primary PH’s have been used up. If there is a long term injury to an OF neither of these guys will be the solution.

    • George

      March 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      These two might be fighting to be the 24th man, given that so many consider Martinez’s spot to be #25, not that it will make any difference.

      You’re right that neither is a long term solution, but with payroll constraints, Nix’s ribcage issue, the fact that Victorino seems to lose time every year, and Mayberry’s likely time at 1st while Howard is out, we’d better all hope that both Pierre and Podsednik do well, or that D.Brown suddenly becomes a Gold Glover. Who ever that 24th/25th man is, he’s going to see a lot of playing time beyond pinch hitting duties.

  12. Don M

    March 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

    #1… Pierre is definitely still a threat to steal bags …. he ran 44 times last year. While I agree that the % 27 steals, 17 caught stealing isn’t good .. the fact that he still runs means that pitchers, catchers, and middle infielders need to pay attention to him if/when he’s on the base paths …. when you have a pitcher worrying about a baserunner, instead of the hitter – good things can happen for your offense!

    #2… Speed-wise, how does Galvis compare to Michael Martinez ?… They say that the primary job of your Utility infielder is that he must be able to play SS … which Galvis can do. I wanted to see him play some 3b this spring but I guess they are more concerned with someone to replace Utley full-time should the need arise (Orr vs. Galvis).. and I guess Wigginton on the bench will be the primary 3b-sub if MiniMart isn’t on the roster?

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