Ranting and Worrying
My rant of the evening: Infielders and the bench.
I have more questions than I have answers. The number one thing that I worry about is injuries. “What if” is always a question that I face while thinking about the bench. What if Polly gets sent to the disabled list and Wilson Valdez follows? We do not have Greg Dobbs anymore, but we do have Tagg Bozied who played for the Reading Phillies in 2010, who is capable of fielding first base and third base. If there just so happens to be an idle Rollins and Valdez combination, we have on the farm: Brian Bocock. We saw him last year in a few late season games around the time the Phillies clinched the N.L. East. In the minors, Bocock started in 119 games at shortstop posting a .977 fielding percentage. I’m not worried about offense from the back-up men, because there are 7 other guys who will contribute to the offense party, 8 guys if Roy Halladay is starting that game.
I understand that the odds of Bozied or Bocock suffering an injury at the same time as Valdez and Polanco is highly unlikely, but let us take a walk down memory lane for a second. Think back to 2010 when Carlos Ruiz, Brian Schneider, and Paul Hoover were all injured, we had to put in Dane Sardinha, and if he were to have suffered an injury at the time, there were talks of Jayson Werth starting in the catchers position.
That is why I always wonder “what if”. As for pinch-hitting, I wonder whether or not the Phillies will have it all together. It was great having such a reliable bench last year with Sweeney, Dobbs, Valdez, Castro, Francisco, Brown, and Gload, but now we have to subtract Dobbs, Castro, Sweeney, and either Francisco or Brown, depending on who becomes the Phillies’ every day right fielder.
I know that the Phillies Organization is home to many, many prospects who have great potential, which is why I have been keeping a very close eye on our Minor League Systems. I do not worry about our outfield as much as I worry about our infield for reasons I am not yet certain of, but the Phillies’ 40-man roster is full of reliable guys who in my opinion will make our worries disappear if needed on the bench. I also don’t worry about second base, because as I have mentioned, there are guys who will be available to use. I will not get into specifics until spring training for the entire team begins, because I want to see some impressive numbers from guys such as Harold Garcia, Freddy Galvis, Matt Rizzotti, Brian Bocock, and others who will be able to play certain infield positions if they are needed. For now, I’m happy with a bench of just simply Wilson Valdez and Ross Gload, because I have a lot of confidence in them, but others will obviously be added down the road.
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