Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2010 Topps Heritage #179 Chase Utley

We're on the back end of the longest month of the year.  We've got a few inches of slush on the ground.  It's cold, it's gray and I'm entering a stretch at work where I don't come up for air for weeks at a time.  So I figured this was a perfect time to take my first stab at the Phillies' opening day 25-man roster.  This is of course barring injuries, any late signings or any other surprises pulled off by Ruben Amaro, Jr.

The Phillies recently avoided arbitration with both Ben Francisco ($1.175 million for a year) and Kyle Kendrick ($2.45 million for a year) and for all intents and purposes, this sets the team's roster.

Starting line-up (8) - Catcher Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard at first, Chase Utley at second, Placido Polanco at third and Jimmy Rollins at short.  Raul Ibanez in left, Shane Victorino in center and Francisco in right.  I'm fine with Francisco starting the season as our regular right fielder.  A few years ago, the team gave Jayson Werth a shot at the starting job and that turned out OK.  And you heard it here first - Utley is going to have a monster year.  I just have a feeling.

Starting rotation (5) - Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Joe Blanton.  That was fun to type.  There's a 50-50 shot that Blanton gets dealt prior to the season opener if Amaro can find a team willing to deal a solid prospect and absorb some of the big righty's salary.

Bench (6) - Catcher Brian Schneider, outfielders Ross Gload and Domonic Brown, infielder Wilson Valdez, Rule 5 infielder Michael Martinez, and outfielder John Mayberry, Jr.  Brown is going to start the season in Philly, but he could be shipped back to Lehigh Valley if Francisco starts getting at-bats against left-handed pitchers.  If Martinez flops in Spring Training, Brian Bocock could steal his roster spot and Martinez would be sent back to the Nationals.  I gave Mayberry a spot because I have a feeling that manager Charlie Manuel is going to go with only 11 pitchers.

Bullpen (6) - Closer Brad Lidge, set-up guy Ryan Madson, long man Kendrick, middle relief guys Danys Baez and Jose Contreras, lefty J.C. Romero.  Kendrick slides into the rotation if Blanton gets dealt.  Antonio Bastardo or Vance Worley will be the first pitchers recalled if there's an injury or if either Romero or Baez gets off to a shaky start.

So there you have it.  Who is on your 25-man roster at this point?  Did I get anything wrong?

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