5 Philadelphia Phillies Who Won’t Make It Through 2014 Spring Training
5 Phillies Who Won't Make The Cut
When a once-proud team goes 73-89, it figures that heads will roll and that’s probably true for some members of the Philadelphia Phillies this spring. The Phillies are coming off a forgettable season where they finished 16 games under .500.
While fans might want to see GM Ruben Amaro Jr. go, that’s just not going to happen given Amaro’s long-time friendship with club CEO David Montgomery, who has given Amaro carte blanche to reshape the organization.
The first to feel the axe of Amaro was manager Charlie Manuel last August. He was replaced by Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who came through the Phillies' farm system as a player and developed as a manager through that same farm system.
Now Sandberg is going to have to cut at least a few players on the current 40-man roster who he developed relationships with in the minor leagues. That’s never easy, but the Phillies did upgrade the talent in the outfield by adding Marlon Byrd and in the pitching by trading for players like Brad Lincoln and Chad Gaudin. It only figures that at least one outfielder and two pitchers would be cut sometime in spring training, probably sooner than later.
Former outfield starters like John Mayberry Jr. and Darin Ruf are probably safe as they can be effective right-handed hitting bench pieces. Amaro is also bringing former Phillies' star Bobby Abreu in for a look-see and, if Abreu can hit at all, he will probably stay as one of the few lefty pinch-hitters coming off the bench.
Other than that, though, no player should be safe. Here are five guys most likely to get a pink slip sometime in March:
5. Phillippe Aumont
Aumont is big (6-foot-7) and he’s got a good fastball, but he’s never been able to place it. He’s 14-for-29 in his minor league career, which is probably the best reason he won’t stick with a major-league team, let alone the Phillies.
4. Luis Garcia
Last year, Garcia was a hairdresser in New Jersey before the Phillies plucked him from a tryout and fast-tracked him to the majors. At least he will have a career to fall back on once the Phillies release him in late March.
3. Jeremy Horst
Horst is a lefty the Phillies kept around because their pitchers kept going on the disabled list. They suffered through his 0-2 record with a 6.23 ERA in 2013. They won’t suffer with him long in spring training.
2. Tommy Joseph
Joseph was the cornerstone, at least from the Phils’ perspective, in the Hunter Pence trade, but it’s hard to be that high on a catcher who hit .270 in his best minor-league season. Fellow minor-league backup Cameron Rupp has surpassed him and will probably take a place as a backup, leaving Joseph to fend for himself in another organization.
1. Tyson Gillies
When the Phils got rid of Cliff Lee (before getting him back), Gillies and Aumont were the key pieces in that trade, now one of the worst in Phils’ history. Gillies, an outfielder, hit .241 in Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Pa.) last year and the Phillies would like to have a reason, any reason, to move him to make room for a promising group of Double-A outfielders.