With Yuniesky Betancourt gone, Darin Ruf demoted and lefties Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes very likely to make the team, the Phillies' only two remaining positional battles pit 24-year-old Phillippe Aumont vs. 26-year-old Mike Stutes and backup catchers Humberto Quintero and Steven Lerud against each other.
Aumont threw a perfect inning in the Phillies' 13-4 loss to the Blue Jays Monday. (John Lannan started and gave up 12 runs on 14 hits.) Aumont has allowed six baserunners in 6 1/3 innings this spring, with five strikeouts.
Stutes has an 8.10 ERA in nine appearances this spring, with eight walks in 10 innings. There is no reason to believe he's ahead of Aumont in the pecking order.
Lerud may be inching ahead of Quintero in the race for April's backup catcher. Lerud is 4-for-17 this spring with a homer, a double and five walks. The Phillies like his defense. Quintero, a .234 career hitter with a .590 OPS, has six singles in 23 at-bats this spring.
The best guess here is that Aumont and Lerud make the team.
Adding an outfielder?
Ender Inciarte really hasn't done anything this spring to earn a job on the 25-man roster ... other than be a Rule 5 pick. He's shown flashes of solid defense but has also struggled in the field. He's made two errors and booted another ball on Sunday. He's been thrown out in 2 of 3 steal attempts.
That's why, as Jim Salisbury has reported since last Friday, the Phillies may look to acquire their fifth outfielder through a trade. Two names mentioned yesterday were Ryan Sweeney of the Red Sox and the Mariners' Casper Wells.
Sweeney is signed to a minor-league deal. Wells made $488,000 last year. Both would be upgrades over Inciarte.
Sweeney would give the Phils another lefty bat off the bench and a guy who can play all three outfield spots. His career line is .280/.338/.378.
Wells, a righty, has way more power. He hit 63 homers in the minor leagues from 2008-10, then 21 in the majors the last two seasons. Wells strikes out a ton.
Stay tuned. Spring training may feel like it's lasted six months but we're just a week away from opening night in Atlanta.