Wednesday in Lakewood, Ruben Amaro Jr. told the Philadelphia Daily News that "in this day and age, depth is important," as he explained the reason for dealing Wilson Valdez for left-handed pitcher Jeremy Horst. If that's the case, than why would he subtract from the infield, where all four regulars have trouble staying on the field?
Beerleaguer: The biggest problem, as the Phils count down the days until spring training, is an infield that can't stay healthy and will not have Ryan Howard to begin the season. Period. Forget fifth outfielder, the eighth inning or all the other noodling on the fringes of the roster, which would certainly include a minor league loogy like Jeremy Horst. Without an intact infield, the offense will sputter. And it will sputter because the stand-ins will be at replacement level or worse. Yeah, I bolded that.
This is infield armageddon. (13 pt. type)
Remember Valdez's 19th-inning heroics all you want, but his real legacy came as the cardboard cutout who stood in place of Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley for two years and produced a 0.0 WAR in 2011, a Sabermetrician's way of saying the Phils would do just as well summoning "any old body" from Triple-A (Pete "any old body" Orr produced a comparable -0.2 WAR).
Improving utility should have been a priority this winter. Even if they'd kept Valdez, the fragility of the infield makes for a scary situation. This move implies almost total faith in Michael Martinez, who is a terrible hitter (.196/.258/.282). According to the Daily News, Amaro listed Martinez and prospect Freddy Galvis as the top two utility candidates, then suggested that Galvis would ideally begin the season in Triple-A. In other words, we have every reason to expect Martinez to break camp with a spot on the roster, just as he did a year ago.