Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Opening Day Roster is (Almost) Set

2015 Chachi Almost #3
2015 Chachi New Additions #8
Phillies 6, Pirates 4
Spring Training Game 33 - Saturday Afternoon, April 4th in Philadelphia
Record - 14-17-2

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies rode six early runs and a strong pitching performance from David Buchanan to a 6-4 win over the Pirates.

What It Means:  The exhibition season is over and the 2015 regular season begins on Monday afternoon for the Phillies when they open the season against the Red Sox.

What Happened:  Buchanan pitched five shutout innings and was rewarded after the game by getting promoted to the third starter's spot, flip flopping with the struggling Jerome Williams.  Chase Utley went 1 for 3 with two RBIs and finished the spring with a .412 average.

Featured Cards/Camp Head Count:  As of this writing, late Saturday night, the camp head count stands officially at 32 - 4 = 28.  Non-roster invitees Russ Canzler, Rene Garcia and Cord Phelps were all reassigned to minor league camp while Rule 5 selection Andy Oliver was outrighted and elected free agency.  I had thought Oliver actually had a decent spring, compiling a 3.55 ERA over 12 2/3 innings while leading the entire pitching staff with 22 strikeouts.  In the end, the Phillies decided they wouldn't have a place for the southpaw on the roster all season and he was let go.

2013 Topps Update #US92
Relievers Jeanmar Gomez and Cesar Jimenez both had their contracts selected ending weeks of speculation as to who would wind up making the team's bullpen.  Jeff Francoeur and Andres Blanco are the last two non-roster invitees standing and a decision as to their fate will be made before Monday afternoon.

It also appears as if the team found another bullpen arm.  Dustin McGowan, who was released by the Dodgers on Tuesday has reportedly signed with the Phillies.  I usually don't make Chachi New Additions cards until the deal is officially announced, but I felt like whipping this one up while waiting for the Easter Bunny to stop by.  McGowan spent the first 15 years of his professional career with the Blue Jays and he signed with the Dodgers in February.  In seven spring relief appearances with the Dodgers, McGowan allowed six runs in eight innings pitched while striking out five.

His last mainstream baseball cards came within the 2010 Topps and Upper Deck sets.

Happy Easter to you and your family!

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