Logically, the odd man out will be Juan Castro, who signed a one-year, $750,000 contract in the off-season, or 31-year-old Wilson Valdez, who is out of options and would have to clear waivers to be kept at AAA.
Beerleaguer: This post could have an hour shelf life, but here goes nothing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While I would agree that Castro and Valdez did a nice job filling in for Jimmy Rollins, who could come off the DL today, I stop short of giving them the full “one hell of a job” endorsement that Charlie Manuel gave them after yesterday’s game. Castro posted a .574 OPS in 70 plate appearances, Valdez notched a .596 OPS in 53 plate appearances. I won’t pretend to be in the Phillies’ heads, but I think they think Castro is better equipped to come off the bench and contribute without regular playing time, and they might believe his arm shows better than Valdez at third. That’s pure conjecture. Meanwhile, Valdez is younger, fresher and has a more dynamic range of tools, including some speed. Would either of them clear waivers? It depends what teams are seeking. I'm sure Ruben and his men have made the calls.It’s funny, because even with Rollins coming back, shortstop isn't exactly expendable. It's a tough position to fill and versatility is a value. The Phils will keep 12 pitchers come hell or high water, so space will be cleared through the bench. It’s almost certain they’ll cut a shortstop, but you wonder. The less Ben Francisco gets on the field, the more he must be looking over his shoulder at John Mayberry Jr., who’s had a pretty good season at AAA. Looking ahead, would the Phillies really be interested in going into arbitration with Ben-Fran with Mayberry available for less? Greg Dobbs is another guy who’s struggling to sell himself as a third baseman after an awful showing against Atlanta. He’s redundant on his own team with the presence of Ross Gload.
Just something to ponder before the Phillies, more than likely, announce that Valdez is a goner. (Footnote: Castro was available to play yesterday, but Valdez got the nod instead.)