The Phillies purged seven players from the roster today, including pitchers Mike Stutes, Vance Worley, Juan Perez, Dan Meyer, infielders Freddy Galvis and Jeff Larish and outfielder Brandon Moss.
Among the group, Stutes made the biggest impact this spring and has worked his way into the bullpen picture as someone the Phillies could rely on at some point this season. Worley defaults as the team's seventh starter currently, but could be the pitcher the Phils turn to first in an emergency depending on the context, for example, if Kyle Kendrick assumes a long-man role and pitches the night before. For now, Worley will anchor Lehigh Valley's rotation. Perez was signed as minor league depth, and since he's a lefty, earned a longer look. Meyer, an intriguing reclamation project, walked 4 and allowed 6 hits in his 5 1-3 innings of work, numbers worse than Perez. The cuts mean that Mike Zagurski and Antonio Bastardo, who've both been solid, are battling for the second lefty spot. In a perfect world, Jeff Larish should have worked his way into the third base picture as an option to push Placido Polanco over to second as a way to deal with the loss of Chase Utley. But he had a lousy go of it and looks to be nothing more than a Quad-A mercenary. As for Moss, he's Triple-A depth and won't be knocking at the door to Philadelphia unless they suffer several injuries.
Trade talk: Even if Clout Day is still two days away (March 20 marks the unofficial date when spring training performance can be discussed intelligently), we can start to look around the league at some opportunities that could unfold as teams finalize their rosters. Luis Castillo can sign at the minimum after being cut by the Mets. The White Sox are looking to deal Mark Teahen, who seems like a high-priced Greg Dobbs in his prime. Teams have glaring needs. A team like the Mariners, for example, has almost no bullpen to speak of. It's just a fraction of what's floating in the ether. Talk amongst yourselves.
Utley, Lidge take positive stapes: Chase Utley took batting practice today, according to reports. Brad Lidge threw a pain-free bullpen.
Game chat: Roy Oswalt is on the hill in Clearwater against the Pirates today. For the Phils, it's Jimmy Rollins SS, Shane Victorino CF, Raul Ibanez LF, Ryan Howard 1B, Ross Gload RF, Pete Orr 3B, Carlos Ruiz C, Michael Martinez 2B. As you can see, the Phils continue to weigh their utility options.
Site notes: Light posting over the next few days while I gear up for games that count.