Saturday, October 24, 2009

Phillies Considering World Series Roster Options

Similar to the previous two playoff series, teams have an opportunity to reset their rosters for the World Series. The Phillies brass is surely mulling over their options right now, but probably will not make final decisions until their opponent is determined. The Yankees, of course, are still favored considering their 3-2 ALCS lead and the final two games in the friendly confines of their new stadium.

Cliff Lee will get the ball for Game 1 on Wednesday. Charlie Manuel would prefer to bring him back again on normal rest, but if the Phillies fall behind in the series, it is possible that he would choose to bring him back on Sunday with only 3 days rest. Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels will get the call for Games 2 and 3, but the order is undetermined at this point. Since it is a difficult decision anyway, the determining factor could be that Hamels is a much better hitter, so Manuel could DH for Martinez in Game 2.

As he had in previous series, Manuel will keep his options open and likely will not name the Game 4 starter until Saturday. J.A. Happ pitched well in his start against the Yankees earlier this year, and could get the call if that is their opponent and they go with a 4-man rotation. Happ gives up less long balls than Blanton, which is a big part of the Yankees offense. If Antonio Bastardo is left off the roster, though, Happ would give the Phillies a second lefty in the pen to go with Scott Eyre.

There appears to be some sentiment to consider adding Brett Myers to the World Series roster. Ruben Amaro indicated yesterday that Myers looked a lot sharper in a recent simulated game. This will depend upon whether the team opts for 12 pitchers over keeping Eric Bruntlett or whether it makes sense to keep Bastardo as an additional lefty in the pen.

My guess is that they will add Myers to the roster since he has big game, pressure experience. I also believe they will keep Bruntlett to maintain more flexibility, especially since they can use Happ as a situational lefty for a batter or two regardless of whether he starts. Games 6 and 7 would likely be an "all hands on deck" scenario anyway.

Here is how I would project things for Game 1. If they face a right-handed starter, Matt Stairs or Greg Dobbs could DH with Ibanez back in left.

Line-up  9

  1. Rollins-SS
  2. Victorino-CF
  3. Utley-2B
  4. Howard-1B
  5. Werth- RF
  6. Ibanez-DH
  7. Francisco-LF
  8. Feliz-3B
  9. Ruiz-C

Rotation  4
  1. Lee
  2. Martinez
  3. Hamels
  4. Happ

Bench   5
  1. Stairs
  2. Dobbs
  3. Bako
  4. Cairo
  5. Bruntlett

Bullpen  7
  1. Lidge
  2. Madson
  3. Park
  4. Eyre
  5. Blanton
  6. Durbin
  7. Myers

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