Phillies Finalize Opening Day Roster, We Ponder The Lineup

Phillies Finalize Opening Day Roster, We Ponder The Lineup

After dropping their final exhibition tuneup
to the Pirates, 4-1, Ruben Amaro Jr., Assistant GM Scott Proefrock,
Charlie Manuel, and the rest of the Phillies brain trust went to work on
finalizing the Opening Day roster. They actually got things started
earlier in the day when they released Luis Castillo (who had a
Tartabullian short stay in Phillies red).

Having released Castillo, there weren't a whole lot of difficult
decisions left to make. With Chase Utley out for the foreseeable future
and Placido Polanco nursing his elbow, the only real roster drama
revolved around which reserve players, capable of playing multiple
infield positions, would make the squad.

The way things shook out there were three guys (Pete Orr, Michael
Martinez, and Delwyn Young) competing for two spots. Once Castillo was
released, word leaked that Martinez would be the beneficiary, which left
Orr and Young competing for the final spot.

Ultimately, Orr's experience playing third (48 career games at the hot corner as compared to just 8 for Young) won out.

The final Opening Day roster breaks down as follows:

Starting Pitchers
Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton.

Jose Contreras, Ryan Madson, Danys Baez, David Herndon, Kyle Kendrick, J.C. Romero, Antonio Bastardo.


Carlos Ruiz, Brian Schneider.

Ryan Howard, Wilson Valdez, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Michael Martinez, Pete Orr.

Ben Francisco, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry Jr., Ross Gload.

As's Jim Salisbury
points out, there's a lot of flexibility in the roster. Both Mayberry
and Gload can play first and a corner outfield spot. Valdez, Orr, and
Martinez can play all over the infield, with Orr and Martinez providing
additional outfield depth.

Weather permitting, I'd imagine you'll see the following lineup for the opener on Friday.

1) Shane Victorino (CF)

2) Placido Polanco (3B)

3) Jimmy Rollins (SS)

4) Ryan Howard (1B)

5) Raul Ibanez (LF)

6) Ben Francisco (RF)

7) Carlos Ruiz (C)

8) Wilson Valdez (2B)

9) Roy Halladay (P)

Is there anything you would change? Perhaps flipping Francisco and
Rauuuulllll? As it stands your lineup 1-8 goes switch hitter, right,
switch, left, left, right, right, right.

Righthanded bats off the bench: Mayberry

Lefthanded bats off the bench: Gload, Schneider, and Orr

Switch hitters off the bench: Martinez

Obviously there were no surprises with the starting rotation.
Bullpen-wise, with Lidge out, Charlie has said he'll give Contreras the
first crack at closing. Madson will take the eigth. If for some crazy
reason they need a reliever in the seventh they can mix and match with
lefties J.C. Romero and Antonio Bastardo and righties Danys Baez and
David Herndon. Kendrick is your long guy out of the pen.

So, there it is. The Opening Day roster for the most heavily anticipated regular season in franchise history.


Watch: Josh Huff flips into endzone after 98-yard kickoff return for TD


Watch: Josh Huff flips into endzone after 98-yard kickoff return for TD

After a slog of a start for the Eagles, Josh Huff gave the Philadelphia faithful something to cheer about when he took a kick return 98 yards to the house.

And he capped it off with a flip into the end zone.

Thanks, Chip.

Huff joins fellow Eagle Wendell Smallwood as the only players in the NFL this season to return a kickofff for a touchdown.

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

When Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout's six-year, $144.5 million contract ends in 2020, the Millville, New Jersey, native will be in his prime at 29 years old, and Phillies' fans dream of seeing Trout playing at Citizens Bank Park could be come true.

For the time being, though, Trout, a season-ticket holder, is just chilling at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles play the Vikings on Sunday because the Angels are almost as bad as the Phillies and even he couldn't stay away from Sam Bradford's return to Philadelphia.