Phils' Protected List Covers No Outfielders It Does Include Pitchers Mike Grace And Tyler Green. The Expansion Draft Is A Week Away.

Posted: November 11, 1997

With baseball's expansion draft just a week away, the 28 major-league teams must submit their 15-man protection lists to the commissioner's office by 2 p.m. today.

Phillies officials discussed their list yesterday and will put the final touches on it this morning before faxing it to New York.

Barring last-minute changes, the Phils will protect seven pitchers, two catchers and six infielders. They will protect no outfielders.

The list will probably look like this: pitchers Matt Beech, Ricky Bottalico, Mike Grace, Tyler Green, Carlton Loewer, Garrett Stephenson and Curt Schilling; catchers Bobby Estalella and Mike Lieberthal; and infielders Marlon Anderson, Rico Brogna, Mickey Morandini, Desi Relaford, Scott Rolen and Kevin Stocker.

The draft, to be held next Tuesday in Phoenix, will stock the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Arizona will play in the National League, and Tampa Bay in the American League.

Each existing team will lose at least two players in the draft. Some will lose three.

After losing one player in the first round, a team is allowed to protect three more players. The process is repeated after the second round.

The Phillies will probably lose Wayne Gomes, Greg Whiteman or Billy McMillon in the first round. Gomes, a relief pitcher, was the club's top pick in the 1993 draft. Whiteman is a lefthanded starter who pitched in single A and double A last season.

McMillon might be the best bet to go. He's considered major-league-ready as a hitter and an outfielder. If he had more power, the Phillies probably would have protected him.

Interesting names on the protection list are Grace, Green and Brogna. Grace and Green have had arm trouble, but the Phillies believe the problems are in the past. Brogna's spot on the list means the sore shoulder he had at the end of the season has been deemed sound.

Interesting omissions are Lenny Dykstra and Gregg Jefferies, two players with no-trade clauses. Both have waived their protection rights. Neither will be picked because of injuries or high salaries.

The Phillies' baseball-management team will head to Phoenix tomorrow. The annual general managers' meetings precede the draft. GM Lee Thomas will likely use the week in Arizona to try to fill his club's most glaring needs - a leadoff man, a young outfielder with power and speed, and a middle reliever. After 2 p.m. today, no trades are allowed until the draft is complete. There could be a flurry of trade activity right after the draft.

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