Matt Gelb's Phillies 40-man roster analysis

First baseman Ryan Howard (left) is signed through 2016, but the team is concerned about whether he can reverse his recent decline. Outfielder Domonic Brown showed improvement on defense. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff
First baseman Ryan Howard (left) is signed through 2016, but the team is concerned about whether he can reverse his recent decline. Outfielder Domonic Brown showed improvement on defense. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff
Posted: October 08, 2012

PITCHERS

RHP Phillippe Aumont

2013 Age: 24

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

Seven relievers were summoned from triple A before Aumont, which qualified as a massive disappointment. Then he was setup man for a week and showed the promise of his right arm.

LHP Antonio Bastardo

2013 Age: 27

Contract Status: First-time arbitration-eligible.

He's the most confounding player on this roster. His 14.02 strikeouts per nine innings was the 14th highest rate (minimum 50 innings) in major-league history. But he's prone to a lack of focus.

RHP Tyson Brummett

2013 Age: 29

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

He'll always have that time when he recorded the final two outs of a forgettable season.

RHP Tyler Cloyd

2013 Age: 26

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

After taking the International League by storm, Cloyd was perfectly mediocre in the majors. That probably earns him a look-see in spring training and a role as sixth starter/long man/triple-A ace.

RHP Jose Contreras

2013 Age: 41

Contract Status: Free agent.

Sometime in the coming weeks, the Phillies will pay Contreras $500,000 to not pitch for them in 2013. In total, he earned $5.5 million for 272/3 innings, a 4.55 ERA, and two elbow surgeries.

RHP Justin De Fratus

2013 Age: 25

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

Considering the ominous elbow trouble he faced in the spring, De Fratus' season was a mild disappointment. Surgery would have made it worse. An encouraging stat in a small sample size: Righties are 3 for 30 with three singles against him in the majors.

LHP Jake Diekman

2013 Age: 26

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

It's hard to guarantee Diekman anything until he learns to control his impressive repertoire. He showed flashes of brilliance. Then he looked like a deer in the headlights.

RHP Roy Halladay

2013 Age: 36

Contract Status: Signed through 2013 for $20 million.

No player will be more scrutinized at Clearwater next spring. After extensive meetings with the team's training and conditioning staff, Halladay is convinced he can develop a program to stave off Father Time.

LHP Cole Hamels

2013 Age: 29

Contract Status: Signed through 2018 for $144 million.

He has made at least 30 starts for five straight seasons and is the model of consistency. Until Hamels, no Phillies starter had posted three straight seasons of a sub-3.06 ERA since Jim Bunning from 1965 to 1967.

RHP David Herndon

2013 Age: 27

Contract Status: First-time arbitration-eligible.

Herndon pitched in five games before succumbing to Tommy John surgery but still qualifies as a Super Two, meaning he heads to arbitration early. He will not be ready until June, so the Phils could negotiate a minor-league deal.

LHP Jeremy Horst

2013 Age: 27

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

The Horst-for-Wilson Valdez trade could go down as one of Ruben Amaro Jr.'s finest. Lefthanded hitters were 8 for 47 (.170) with one extra-base hit and 17 strikeouts against Horst. The Phillies may have found their second lefty.

RHP Kyle Kendrick

2013 Age: 28

Contract Status: Signed through 2013 for $4.5 million.

No Phillies player improved his standing more during the final two months than Kendrick. He guaranteed himself a rotation job barring a total surprise. A rising strikeout rate offers hope for further improvement.

LHP Cliff Lee

2013 Age: 34

Contract Status: Signed through 2015 for $87.5 million.

Player A: 215 IP, 190 H, 73 ER, 24 HR, 52 BB, 216 K. Player B: 211 IP, 207 H, 74 ER, 26 HR, 28 BB, 207 K. Player A is Hamels. Player B is Lee. And there are people who think Lee had a bad season because he won six games.

RHP Josh Lindblom

2013 Age: 26

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

Lindblom's walks skyrocketed once he joined the Phillies in a midseason trade. He admitted, at times, to putting unnecessary pressure on himself to perform for his new team. He needs to show something in the spring.

RHP Jonathan Papelbon

2013 Age: 32

Contract Status: Signed through 2015 for $39 million.

Regardless of how you feel about the contract, Papelbon was everything the Phillies expected. He threw a career-high 70 innings and posted his lowest ERA since 2009. The home runs hurt, but he brought stability.

RHP J.C. Ramirez

2013 Age: 24

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

The Other Guy in the second Cliff Lee trade was converted to a reliever in 2012. His 40-man-roster spot could be in danger this winter.

RHP B.J. Rosenberg

2013 Age: 27

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

He throws hard and the Phillies have always liked his arm. The numbers, despite a strong finish, were still ugly. With so many young bullpen arms, he could be on the fringe.

LHP Joe Savery

2013 Age: 27

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

The Phillies were 1-18 in games Savery pitched, which isn't an indictment of him, but an indication of his usage pattern. He was made superfluous by Horst. Savery could be elsewhere in 2013.

RHP Michael Schwimer

2013 Age: 27

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

A dispute over an injury in August did not leave him on the greatest of terms with Amaro. He lost out on a month's worth of major-league salary.

RHP Mike Stutes

2013 Age: 26

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

It was a lost season for Stutes, who needed shoulder surgery. The Phillies expect him ready for spring training. He'll have to prove himself all over again.

LHP Raul Valdes

2013 Age: 35

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

The Phillies still retain Valdes' rights this winter and could explore keeping him after a quietly solid season. He struck out 35 in 31 innings with a 2.90 ERA in mostly low-leverage situations.

RHP Vance Worley

2013 Age: 25

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

He has the inside track on the fifth starter's job even after bone chips in his right elbow limited his sophomore season to 23 starts. Hitters made better adjustments than Worley.

CATCHERS

Erik Kratz

2013 Age: 33

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

He made a strong case for the backup job with nine home runs and a .504 slugging percentage. Kratz hit a mere .167 in September, when he showed signs of fatigue. His ability to throw out runners was impressive.

Steven Lerud

2013 Age: 28

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

The fourth-string catcher collected about $90,000 for 10 plate appearances. Tuffy Gosewisch, longtime organizational soldier, was the victim of bad timing.

Carlos Ruiz

2013 Age: 34

Contract Status: Team option for $5 million.

Ruiz hit .325 with 16 home runs and a .935 OPS. Only two catchers age 33 or older posted seasons of .300/15/.900: Roy Campanella in 1955 and Jorge Posada in 2007. Both sides will explore a long-term deal this winter.

Brian Schneider

2013 Age: 36

Contract Status: Free agent.

In 13 seasons, Schneider started 903 times at catcher. The career .247 hitter has likely played in his last game. He hit .212 in three seasons with the Phillies.

Sebastian Valle

2013 Age: 22

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

The addition of Tommy Joseph, one of the game's top catching prospects, could make Valle a prime trade chip this winter. His .271 on-base percentage in 2012 was less than encouraging.

INFIELDERS

2B/3B Kevin Frandsen

2013 Age: 31

Contract Status: First-time arbitration-eligible.

Frandsen made the most of a two-month tryout at third base. Amaro, though, conceded multiple times he does not know what to make of Frandsen. His .366 batting average on balls in play for 2012 suggests luck.

UTIL Freddy Galvis

2013 Age: 23

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

Fans chanted his name before it was stained with a drug suspension. Galvis was a wizard at second base. He needs a better bat if he's to be an everyday major-leaguer.

2B Cesar Hernandez

2013 Age: 23

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

Phillies officials liken him to Galvis, but with a better bat. It failed to show during his month in triple A. Hernandez hit .248 with a .567 OPS. He'll be in Allentown again.

1B Ryan Howard

2013 Age: 33

Contract Status: Signed through 2016 for $110 million.

Publicly, the Phillies blamed Howard's dismal 2012 on his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon. Privately, they must wonder if Howard can ever recapture his best after three straight seasons of decline.

UTIL Michael Martinez

2013 Age: 30

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

Few generated more angst among fans than the light-hitting Martinez. He was on the roster for his defense. Galvis and Frandsen could push him to triple A in 2013.

UTIL Pete Orr

2013 Age: 34

Contract Status: First-time arbitration-eligible.

Orr had his best offensive season in the majors, albeit in 35 games. His defense is what has prevented him from spending a full season as a utility man.

3B Placido Polanco

2013 Age: 37

Contract Status: Free agent.

It's unlikely any team offers Polanco a guaranteed deal for 2013, so he may have played in his final game. The Phillies must pay him $1 million to buy out a 2013 option.

SS Jimmy Rollins

2013 Age: 34

Contract Status: Signed through 2015 for $27 million.

Rollins ranked fifth among all major-league shortstops in plate appearances (699), sixth in OPS (.743), second in home runs (23), first in runs scored (102), second in walks (62) and third in stolen bases (30).

2B Chase Utley

2013 Age: 34

Contract Status: Signed through 2013 for $15 million.

The Phillies will dispatch team officials for checkups on Utley this winter after miscalculating his availability last spring. Of his batted balls, 21.4 percent were line drives, his highest rate since 2008.

1B Ty Wigginton

2013 Age: 35

Contract Status: Free agent.

Using Baseball-Reference's Wins Above Replacement (WAR) stat, Wigginton was the 10th worst Phillies player in the last 50 years. That's even after hitting .322 in April.

OUTFIELDERS

Domonic Brown

2013 Age: 25

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

The most important development was Brown's increased defensive ability. He shifted from right to left field with regularity and without serious gaffes. That was unthinkable in 2011.

Tyson Gillies

2013 Age: 24

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration

Gillies has not played a full season since 2009, yet he remains a prospect. When he was healthy and not berating bus drivers, his 2012 was super. He still has plenty to overcome.

John Mayberry Jr.

2013 Age: 29

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

Well, the Phillies had their look at Mayberry. Only Rollins batted more times in 2012. What are they left with? Mayberry resembles nothing more than a bench player.

Laynce Nix

2013 Age: 32

Contract Status: Signed through 2013 for $1.35 million.

Nix had never signed a guaranteed major-league deal before 2011. He was limited to 70 games because of a calf strain. He has spent time on the DL in seven of the last nine seasons.

Juan Pierre

2013 Age: 35

Contract Status: Free agent.

Charlie Manuel gushed when talking about Pierre all season. Amaro hedged on a return because the Phillies are too lefthanded and need more pop from their outfield. For $800,000 he was a bargain.

Darin Ruf

2013 Age: 26

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration.

For two weeks, Ruf hit a bunch of fastballs and played an adequate left field. The Phillies have no idea what Ruf is. They will watch him closely this winter in Venezuela.

Nate Schierholtz

2013 Age: 29

Contract Status: Second-time arbitration-eligible.

A broken toe restricted the Phillies from a legitimate look at Schierholtz, who should make close to $2 million in 2013. He was determined to shake the label of a "platoon guy." It may be accurate.

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