A pair of MVP hopefuls shared the spotlight this weekend at Citizens Bank Park, where Chase Utley’s two bombs helped rescue a win for the Phillies, while David Wright continued his hot hitting for the Mets.
For the Phils, this was a close to a “must-win” as you’ll find in April. Facing a sweep at home at the hands of their top division rival, the Phils outlasted the Mets 5-4 thanks to two Utley homers, including a three-run bomb in the fifth. After the Mets rallied to tie the game, Pedro Feliz contributed the eventual game-winner with a pinch homer in the seventh. Before hitting a wall in the sixth, Adam Eaton was solid. J.C. Romero rightfully earned the win with two shutout frames in the seventh and eighth. With suspect control, Brad Lidge was able to harness his slider just enough to escape disaster, but ultimately, it was the much-maligned defense that earned the save.
Tonight, the Phils hit the road to begin a seven-game, three-city road trip starting tonight in Denver, where they return to the site of their NLDS Game 3 elimination. They return without Jimmy Rollins, who will miss the next two weeks with an ankle sprain. This morning, we learn only a little more about situation, with assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledging the Phillies made a mistake in the way the injury was handled.
We still don’t have a reason why 28-year-old Triple-A lifer T.J. Bohn and 22-year-old project Brad Harman were chosen to fill in for Rollins and Chris Snelling. Paul Hagen of the Daily News reports that utility infielder Chris Woodward is injured and not playing particularly well, otherwise he would have been the logical choice at short. Jason Donald is also hurt. Instead, they start the clock on Harman, who’s a fringe prospect, but it’s still too early to know for sure. He should be in Double-A where they can find out.
Bohn, a tall, athletic type who looks like he should be able to hit, is an even bigger mystery. Originally a product of the Seattle system, the 28-year-old can barely hit Triple-A pitching. He can, however, “play all three outfield positions,” and there can’t be a more overrated asset than that for this current club.
The reasoning appears to be a combination of having Bohn and Harman already on the 40-man roster, injuries to other players like Woodward, plus having Bohn and Harman hang around during spring training as non-roster invitees. Incidentally, it appears defensive specialist Ray Olmedo made the wrong choice in refusing his assignment to LV because he would have been the one to get the call at shortstop. Instead, he’s stuck in Triple-A Columbus (Washington).
Role-playing as a GM, these issues would be address via “cash considerations” for someone else’s spare part – the Joe Borchards, the Jody Geruts, the Kevin Menches. Someone with better experience, because Snelling's injury mean's they're short on depth. If they're serious about adding versatility and speed, then get serious about it and get Chris Roberson back. That's not what I'd do, but I'd prefer him to Bohn since speed is at such a premium now. I’d inquire about reacquiring Olmedo. Others have suggested Brandon Watson. I’d consider slugging IronPig Val Pascucci, also, because outfield versatility doesn’t concern me and he has a better chance of knocking one out than Bohn. And I’d look into Kenny Lofton. These are all better options than Harman and Bohn.