Manager Charlie Manuel is dropping hints that the 13-year veteran would be an ideal fit for the final spot on the bench. But is there room?
Beerleaguer: Scott Lauber of the News-Journal provides all the details on Cairo in print and on his blog and reminds readers that Cairo's contract includes a clause that allows him to be released if he isn't on the Phillies' major-league roster by the season-opener.
Either way, Cairo is no lock. The Phillies have some very difficult decisions to make and there are few sure things; even guys like Geoff Jenkins and Eric Bruntlett are less than certain to break camp, although I'm fairly confident they both will barring a trade. If the Phillies go with 12 pitchers, they'll carry a five-man bench, which makes the situation very tight. The guys who really need to worry are the infielders like Cairo, Marcus Giles and Pablo Ozuna, along with Matt Stairs, but if they go with a six-man bench at the outset and put Cole Hamels on the shelf, they'll have an extra opening, although it would be interesting to see how they swing that. Would they go with someone like Cairo, knowing Cole is coming back soon, or a veteran who would be easily "demotable"; Ronny Paulino, for example?
It's becoming increasingly doubtful that young players like Jason Donald an John Mayberry will be anywhere other than Triple-A; the beat writers are dropping several hints to that effect. There's also this growing sense that Chris Coste will indeed retain his backup catcher spot, but stay tuned. Two weeks to go.
Eskin interview: You can listen to yesterday's interview with Howard Eskin here.