Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ross Gload is the newest Phillie

The Phillies sure aren't wasting any time this offseason. Fresh off the signings of Placido Polanco, Brian Schneider and Juan Castro, the Phillies have signed yet another hitter: 1B/OF Ross Gload. According to Ken Rosenthal, Gload, who played for the Marlins last season, signed a two year contract with the Phillies. The amount of money he will get is not yet known.

Gload, who will likely fill the final spot on the Phillies bench, is a lefty reserve player who can play multiple positions. In his 8 year MLB career spent with the Cubs, Rockies, White Sox, Royals and Marlins, Gload has played 1B, RF, LF, one game at CF and even one inning on the mound. It's likely the Phillies will use Gload as their primary left handed pinch hitter, meaning we have seen the last of Matt Stairs with the Phils. Gload is nearly the exact opposite from Stairs as he has no power (28 homers in 1432 AB's) but has hit for a decent average throughout his career (.283).

The signing of Gload likely means the Phillies have completed the position player portion of their roster. The Phillies will have just one new starter in Placido Polanco but they will have several new bench players in Gload, Schneider and Castro. Add in Ben Francisco and Greg Dobbs and the Phillie bench is certainly different but really not much better than last year's version. For example, who do the Phillies turn to now for speed off the bench? Or for that big homer? John Mayberry would have been a solution to the latter question but as of right now there isn't any room for him on the major league roster.

Gload will be a nice piece for the Phillies but he isn't someone to get too excited about. He will get a few timely hits and fill in at the outfield corners from time to time but that's about it. Now that, for better or for worse, the Phils have completed their bench, it's time for Ruben Amaro to move on to the important business of filling out their bullpen. Hopefully they have enough dough left to bring in a quality arm or two.

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