The Phillies have rounded out the bench with a pair of darkhorses who spent last season in the Nationals farm system: Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez and Canadian everyman Pete Orr.
Orr, 31, followed a workman-like season with Triple-A Syracuse (.264/.326/.436) with a well-rounded spring, seeing time all over the field, most noteably at third while Placido Polanco nursed his elbow injury. His ability to man third could have been the deciding factor in keeping him over Delwyn Young, who can hit from both sides of the plate with power, but is a liability at every position. In addition to playing all over the field, Orr is deceptively fast. The Phils outrighted Matt Rizzotti off the 40-man roster yesterday and will now slot Orr into the opening. Martinez, meanwhile, was congratulated by teammates earlier today, according to CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. Despite an impressive and unexpected push, reliever Mike Stutes has been returned to the minors, meaning David Herndon has clinched the final bullpen spot.
Pirates 4, Phillies 1: The Phillies’ offense isn’t exactly in midseason form, as the team wrapped up spring training with a 4-1 loss to the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils managed only two hits, while the starters – the same position players that will open the season Friday – combined to go 1-for-20. The most important hit of the day may have come off the bat of Orr, who laced a stand-up triple in the eighth. After the game, the Phillies announced that Orr made the team over Young, who went 0-for-2 on Wednesday. Orr finished the spring with a .286 average (16-for-56), contributing a pair of RBIs. Young finished the spring at .258 (16-for-62) with a homer and eight RBIs. Among the pitchers who saw work in the exhibition finale were Cole Hamels (2 runs in 3 innings), Joe Blanton (1 run in 3 innings) and newly minted closer Jose Contreras (1 scoreless inning).
The Phils are off Thursday before the season kicks off Friday vs. Houston. - Written for Beerleaguer by Drew Silverman