Phils cut nine; seeking infield help

Phillies second baseman Kevin Frandsen, left, catches a Houston Astros left fielder Carlos Lee fly ball while avoiding Freddy Galvis (13) and right fielder Tyson Gillies. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

There are less than three weeks of Spring Training left and the Phillies have started thinning out their roster.

Still a ways from 25, the Phillies have sent nine players to minor league camp, dropping their total down to 48 players left in camp.

Right-handed pitchers Dave Bush, Austin Hyatt, B.J. Rosenberg and J.C. Ramirez along with lefthander Pat Misch were reassigned to minor-league camp. As far as position players, infielders Harold Garcia and Cesar Hernandez, outfielder Tyson Gillies, and catcher Sebastian Valle were optioned to minor-league camp.
Both Bush and Hyatt are set to pitch in the starting rotation with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Hyatt could potentially be the only homegrown talent in that rotation.

Top catching prospect Vaille will go to Double-A Reading.

Garcia was outrighted off the 40-man roster has he’s set to miss significant time again this season. After missing 2011 with a torn ACL, Garcia will see more time on the shelf after having micro-fracture surgery in his right knee.

With Garcia being outrighted, the Phillies are down to 38 on their 40-man roster.

That leaves them with a couple of openings for some infield help, which they are seeking according to CSN’s Jim Salisbury.

IF/OF Hector Luna. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The main cause for concern rests in the knees of Chase Utley, who has yet to play an inning of Spring Training ball as well as Ryan Howard’s mini setback and Placido Polanco being played sparingly.

Infield depth was going to be a question mark right away after the Phillies traded Wilson Valdez. Michael Martinez is the only middle infielder set to make the Opening Day roster and he bruised his elbow when he was hit by a ball on a pick-off attempt at first base on Tuesday.

Pete Orr’s has left a lot to be desired offensively and defensively, especially in Tuesday’s game when he let two hard-hit balls get by him.

Summed up by Salisbury:

The Phils figure to open the season with the following infielders: Utley, Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Ty Wigginton and Jim Thome. Martinez came into camp as the favorite to be the utility man, but he has made three errors this spring and Phils officials could be looking to improve on him. They continue to take a look at Orr, Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen and Hector Luna in camp. Galvis is a terrific fielder and can play second, short and third, but Phillies officials prefer him to get regular work in Triple A.

Luna and Frandsen have been good this spring offensively. Though he’s hitting only .190, Luna has a team-high two homers and six RBIs in 21 at-bats. Frandsen’s average isn’t much better but he has a homer and five RBIs in 19 at-bats.

Galvis is easily the best player of the bunch but much like Domonic Brown, he’s going to need every day at-bats and innings to keep his skills sharp for the future.

If the Phillies don’t want to fill that role internally, shortstop/third baseman Miguel Tejada, 38, is still available and is probably the top infielder on the market.


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