Predicting the IronPigs roster is difficult enough, but the Phillies keep inviting guys to Clearwater. It’s an excercise in futility, I know. But, I like it anyway. Let’s narrow our focus a bit and make some bold predictions. Today: Middle Infield
Yesterday, Decal posted some interesting info about contracts and opt-outs which he got from Todd Zolecki from Philadelphia. I urge those interested to go back and read that information in the comments section of the “odds and ends” post. Usually, I don’t get worried about opt-outs and the like until after the season starts. Guys are playing well and I want them to stick around, so I get worried they’ll opt-out. Sometimes I refer to it as a “Dewayne Wise.” Recently, though, it seems a few NRI (non-roster invite) guys have come into Spring Training with immediate opt-outs if they don’t make the team out of camp. The interesting one this year, from Decal’s comment/re-post, is Yuni Betancourt. As the Phillies make a decision about what to do with Yuni, the ripples will be felt all the way down the system for the initial rosters.
Here’s our pool:
Not included, are the big boys: Rollins and Utley. If they’re healthy, they’ll have their traditional spots in Philadelphia, of course. Kevin Frandsen isn’t included in my pool, either. He’s on the 40-man and if something happens where he or the Phillies are unhappy, I see him going elsewhere. Otherwise, he can back up every infield position and hit doubles. He won’t be on the ‘Pigs.
So if I’ve got to make a prediction on February 10, here it is:
Of the above seven players, I see one in Philadelphia and four with the IronPigs.
Jimmy and Chase are healthy. Charlie likes vets, so Yuni gets a job to start the season in Philadelphia.
Joe Jordan’s comments lead me to believe that I’m not the only one who wants to see Freddy start at AAA and play every day to begin the season (it’ll change fast, and he’ll be up sooner rather than later). Pete Orr can play third, so they keep him around. Blanco will be the AAA shortstop once Galvis receives the inevitable call-up, and Tolbert is a vet with experience who can help fill 2B should Utley go down for an extended period. That leaves Hernandez and Martinez. Cesar gets pushed back to Reading to start the season. It’s temporary and I know he has nothing to prove at that level, but he gets caught in the opening-day numbers game. Martinez does too–doesn’t handle it as well and gets cut just before opening day.
So that’s my take on it at this moment. What say you, Pig Nation? I know I had to make a lot of assumptions in my prediction, and we all know how that works out. So leave your own in the comments below. Thanks for dropping by,