With Pedro Feliz and Chase Utley on the mend, the Phillies have been forced to sign resourceful contingency plans at the expense of offense. Are they selling themselves short?
David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News mentioned Mike Cervenak in his piece on Pedro Feliz this morning and it got me thinking that even if some guys crush the ball in camp, they’re likely to lose out to weaker-hitting glove men if Feliz isn’t ready and Chase Utley isn't 100 percent. Cervenek, a Triple-A journeyman who played 10 games with the Phils last season, is an unheralded non-roster invite, but the fact is, the 32 year old might be one of the best-hitting right-handed bench options they’ll consider this spring. Unfortunately for Cervenak – barely passable defensively at the infield corners – the Phillies have already suggested that versatility rules in determining those final roster slots. In other words, even if a guy like Cervenek smokes the ball in spring training – a la Casey Smith and Chris Coste in 2008 and 2006, respectively, the jobs may already be earmarked for the defender that makes Charlie Manuel most comfortable.
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