As the Phillies players prepare for an always important series against the Mets, a quick glance around the clubhouse will offer some new faces. Road trips are especially important for new talent as it gives them an opportunity to bond with teammates outside a stadium setting. The Phils have had their fair share of injuries early in this season and have thus had added a few new faces to their Opening Day roster. Today I wanted to briefly touch on the roster moves and crystallize the debate on who will be sent down as the injured players return. At present, here are the players waiting to get back on the active roster (off) and the players who have been called up recently (on).
|Julio Santana||Cole Hamels|
|Randy Wolf||Carlos Ruiz|
|Mike Lieberthal||Chris Roberson|
|Aaron Rowand||Chris Coste|
As we all know, Randy Wolf is expected back in July while the others could be back before the end of May. As for the recent callups, I think it’s safe to say – barring a meltdown – Cole Hamels is up for good. The Phils currently have 12 pitchers on the roster and Santana – who is likely the first one to return from the DL – will make 13. Most feel that’s more than enough for the current squad and would rather keep a potenrial playmaker like Roberson or a future starter like Ruiz. If the Phils decide to keep Santana on the roster then it’s possible Geoff Geary might get yo-yoed back down to Scranton as he is still within his option years. I personally think the Phils might as well release Julio or trade him for a minor leaguer; he carries a relatively small 1 year, $800,000 contract.
If when Lieberthal returns, Sal Fasano’s injury is still bothering him it would be obviously prudent to keep Ruiz up despite Chris Coste’s potential at catcher. So I feel among the list above Chris Coste would be the first to head back to Scranton unless he can dazzle the Phillies brass in the next two weeks. Then Ruiz would be next simply because having a third catcher on the bench who struggles offensively would just be wasting a roster spot. Still though, Coste could luck out if the Phils decide to stay with 12 pitchers and with Lieberthal and Rowand due back at the same time, it could be Roberson and Ruiz sharing the cab up the Northern Extension. Mind you, a lot could happen in the next week – injuries, retirements, trades – but nonetheless it would be wise for the new guys to shine in the spotlight of this New York series – their time is running out.