Phillies establish roster, leaving one vacancy

Posted: April 02, 2007

The Phillies set their 25-man roster yesterday afternoon, but it includes just 24 players.

They are expected to add a 25th player before today's season opener against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies' assistant general manager, said "there are some possibilities" to acquire a player via trade or through waivers. If not, the Phillies, who had a 3 p.m. deadline yesterday to trim their roster, likely would add a player from inside the organization.

Pitchers Freddy Garcia (right biceps tendinitis) and Jon Lieber (strained right abdominal muscle) and catchers Chris Coste (strained right hamstring) and Ryan Budde (strained left abdominal muscle) will open the season on the 15-day disabled list. They are eligible for reinstatement Saturday. Pitcher Scott Mathieson (right elbow surgery) also will open the season on the disabled list.

"It's not necessarily likely that we have a trade where we would acquire someone, but we would like to keep our options open at this time," Amaro said. "It is likely that we will have 25 [players] tomorrow."

The 24 players are:

Pitchers (11): Antonio Alfonseca, Clay Condrey, Adam Eaton, Geoff Geary, Tom Gordon, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Jamie Moyer, Brett Myers, Zack Segovia and Matt Smith.

Catchers (2): Rod Barajas and Carlos Ruiz.

Infielders (6): Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms, Ryan Howard, Abraham Nunez, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.

Outfielders (5): Michael Bourn, Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth.

The Phillies have 35 players on their 40-man roster.

Garcia progresses. Garcia will throw a bullpen session today before he flies to Clearwater, Fla., to continue his rehabilitation. He will pitch in a minor-league game Thursday (45 pitches) and again April 10 (65 pitches). But it's not certain that he will return to the rotation at that point.

This is the first time in Garcia's eight-year career that he will miss a start because of an arm injury.

"It happens," Garcia said. "It's part of the game. I'm glad it happened right now; I'm glad it didn't happen in the middle of the season. I feel really good. Really, really good."

"Freddy is coming along fine," pitching coach Rich Dubee said.

Segovia makes it. Segovia thought he had a pretty good shot to make the team when he pitched in a minor-league game Saturday and flew immediately to Philadelphia afterward. But the rookie righthander still felt some uncertainty yesterday when GM Pat Gillick, manager Charlie Manuel, Dubee and Amaro called him into an office.

"I thought, 'Oh, no. This might not be the good talk in the office,' " said Segovia, 23. "And if it's a bad talk here, it's going to be a worse talk at home. . . . It's exciting. It's great."

Because Garcia and Lieber are hurt, Segovia is scheduled to start for the Phillies on Sunday against the Florida Marlins in Miami. But that could change. If Myers struggles today against the Braves, the Phils could push him back one day. Segovia then would pitch Saturday.

"He deserves a chance to pitch up here," Dubee said. "Based on what he did in the spring and our needs right now, he was the best candidate."

Coste and Lieber. Coste caught five innings Saturday in Clearwater. "He did fine, but he's not running 100 percent," Amaro said. "We don't want to put Charlie [Manuel] in a position where he's limited. It's in his best interest and ours to DL him."

Lieber threw well Saturday in a bullpen session. He will pitch tomorrow in a simulated game. "We'll see how he feels after that," Amaro said. The righthander will continue to work as a relief pitcher. Lieber could return to the rotation if Garcia suffers a setback.


Contact staff writer Todd Zolecki

at 215-854-4874 or tzolecki@phillynews.com.

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