Friday, April 3, 2009

Phillies lose out on Sheffield, finalize bullpen

That didn't take long. After hearing grumblings all morning that the Mets had interest in Gary Sheffield, the 40 year old slugger has already signed a deal with New York. The Phillies had expressed interest in bringing Sheffield in as a pinch hitter but he opted for the extra playing time he will get with the Mets as he platoons with Ryan Church in the outfield.

Sheffield never looked like a great fit for the Phils and I'm not at all upset that they didn't sign him. Sheff would have likely been more trouble than he was worth as he would have surely complained about not getting enough at bats. He will get some big hits for the Mets but I don't think he swings the division in their favor or anything.

While they lost out on Sheffield, the Phillies did announce their final bullpen spots today. Lefties J.A. Happ and Jack Taschner will round out the bullpen as the Phillies Opening Day roster appears to be set:

Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz, Chris Coste

Infielders (7): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Pedro Feliz, Eric Bruntlett, Greg Dobbs, Miguel Cairo

Outfielders (4): Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Matt Stairs

Starting Pitchers (5): Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Chan Ho Park

Bullpen (7): Brad Lidge, Ryan Madsen, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, Scott Eyre, Jack Taschner, J.A. Happ

Keeping Happ is an interesting choice because it gives the bullpen a third lefty, an option that this team doesn't usually have. Chances are they kept Happ to help raise his spirits after missing out on the rotation spot to Chan Ho Park, and you can bet that Happ will be getting all of the available spot starts.

All that is left now for the Phillies is confirm whether Miguel Cairo has made the team or they will be bringing in another right handed bench bat, not that there are a lot of options left out there.

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