With October baseball nearing, it’s time to start drawing up some rough drafts of the Phils’ 25-man playoff roster.
The Phillies will benefit in more than one way if they’re able to line up the Big Three to pitch in the Division Series. Scaling back the rotation to three pitchers would allow them to carry fewer pitchers and put the extra bodies toward the bench if they so choose. Here’s a quick look at the projected bench as it stands today.
Locks: Brian Schneider is a sure bet to fill the backup catcher role, and Wilson Valdez’s versatility and performance make him indispensable. Ross Gload has obviously had a better year at the plate (.274/.323/.424) than Greg Dobbs, plus he has better career numbers than Dobbs against two of the three most likely NLDS opponents. Gload is hitting .304 against the Reds’ staff and .269 against the Giants’ staff. Ben Francisco was abysmal in last year’s postseason, going hitless in 12 plate appearances. He’s had a lackluster season overall, but he’s next on the outfield depth chart.
Bubble: Dobbs’ offensive struggles (.190/.247/.333) have been no secret, but the corner infielder does provide some left-handed pop off the bench, plus he’s a career .333 (7 for 21) hitter in the playoffs. Mike Sweeney has never played in a single playoff series. However, the 16-year veteran does have the ability to drive the baseball, and his approach at the plate makes him an enticing DH (designated hugger) option against lefties. Mayberry and Brown are two players that can do some dynamic things on a baseball field. Both are a little green defensively, but each is capable of the occasional moon shot, and they can both run. Their 2010 minor league numbers are comparable for what they can provide off the bench: 15 homers and 20 steals at Lehigh Valley for Mayberry, while Brown belted 20 homers and stole 17 bags between Reading and Lehigh Valley. It could come down to whether the Phils would rather have a righty (Mayberry) or lefty (Brown) at their disposal.
No: Paul Hoover and Brian Bocock
(Written for Beerleaguer by Matt Grassie)