If not for Castro’s Major League contract, which seemed like a reach given that he signed a Minor League deal the previous season, the bench picture may not be as clear cut as it's been written. Ransom, who made a nice barehanded play at short yesterday, leads the Phillies with three home runs, despite a .208 batting average. The 34-year-old infielder has spent parts of seven seasons in the Majors and started the '09 campaign as Alex Rodriguez’s replacement at third base. Otherwise, he’s been a Triple-A fixture for the last nine seasons, displaying good pop, but high strikeout totals, setting up all around the horn. Offensively, Ransom has the ability to produce more than Castro, possessing more power and better speed. Defensively, Castro, 37, holds the edge, but his glove doesn’t compensate for his bat; so far this spring, the veteran infielder is 4-for-19 (.190). Ransom has also seen more Grapefruit League play than Dobbs, whose name has been bandied about as someone the Phillies could consider trading. Dobbs got into the game at first base yesterday and hit a towering bomb over the right field wall.
Nevertheless, I fully expect Ransom to be sent to minor league camp now that I wrote this.
Moyer makes his case: Those who watched yesterday’s televised game saw Jamie Moyer make a statement in his Grapefruit League debut. Moyer allowed five hits and one run in five innings, striking out six against a lineup of mostly Orioles starters. I would be shocked if he's not in the Phillies' rotation.
Pitching situation comes into focus: Brad Lidge, who will pitch a minor league game today, and J.C. Romero, who will appear in a simulated game Tuesday, are expected to start the season on the disabled list, meaning the Phillies will break camp with three openings in the bullpen. It’s a good bet they’ll be filled by Kyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo and Rule 5 pick David Herndon. The battle for the lefty vacancy never really materialized and the job appears to be Bastardo’s to lose. Meanwhile, Herndon has done nothing to dissuade the Phillies from keeping him.