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Restoring the rosters: No. 4 – Philadelphia

Sep 5, 2009, 3:15 PM EDT

This is part of a series of articles examining what every team’s roster would look like if given only the players it originally signed. I’m compiling the rosters, ranking them and presenting them in a countdown from Nos. 30 to 1.
No. 30 – Cincinnati
No. 29 – Kansas City
No. 28 – San Diego
No. 27 – Milwaukee
No. 26 – Baltimore
No. 25 – Chicago (AL)
No. 24 – Chicago (NL)
No. 23 – Pittsburgh
No. 22 – Detroit
No. 21 – Tampa Bay
No. 20 – New York (NL)
No. 19 – Houston
No. 18 – Oakland
No. 17 – St. Louis
No. 16 – Florida
No. 15 – San Francisco
No. 14 – Texas
No. 13 – Cleveland
No. 12 – Minnesota
No. 11 – Arizona
No. 10 – Los Angeles (AL)
No. 9 – Toronto
No. 8 – Boston
No. 7 – Colorado
No. 6 – Montreal/Washington
No. 5 – New York (AL)
Here’s the only team in the top seven of these rankings to have won a World Series in the past eight years. On the strength of an outstanding infield still mostly intact, the Phillies come in at No. 4.
Rotation
Cole Hamels
Randy Wolf
Gavin Floyd
J.A. Happ
Josh Outman
Bullpen
Brett Myers
Ryan Madson
Taylor Buchholz
Brad Ziegler
Carlos Silva
Geoff Geary
Antonio Bastardo
Maybe it’s more solid than spectacular, but it’s a fine staff. Figuring that Myers would make the bullpen stronger in the closer’s role, I chose to go with Outman as the fifth starter based on how impressive he was for the A’s before requiring Tommy John surgery this year. He had a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts and two relief appearances before going down.
It is worth noting that there’s not much depth here to cover for injuries. Carlos Carrasco was next in line for a rotation spot, but once past him, the options dwindle to names like Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Carpenter and Adam Eaton.
Lineup
CF Michael Bourn
2B Chase Utley
SS Jimmy Rollins
1B Ryan Howard
3B Scott Rolen
LF Pat Burrell
RF Marlon Byrd
C Carlos Ruiz
Bench
INF Jason Donald
INF Nick Punto
C Lou Marson
OF Jason Michaels
OF Greg Golson
Again, depth is an issue here. The only two experienced reserves are Punto and Michaels, and neither is very valuable. If an injury struck the outfield, top prospect Michael Taylor would be the best option to move into the starting lineup.
The lineup is plenty strong, though, and the up-the-middle defense is outstanding. I especially like the fact that Rollins and Rolen will be starting on the left side of the infield behind four left-handed starting pitchers.
Summary
The Phillies minor league system has long had a reputation for being shallow and yet producing stars, and that’s exactly what we see here. The squad has a fine rotation and lineup, but little behind it. Still, the club has come up with a greater quantity of prospects in recent years, which explains just how it managed to satisfy the Indians’ needs and acquire Cliff Lee while retaining Happ, Kyle Drabek, Taylor and Dominic Brown. I’m confident that the Phillies will place right around here again when these rankings are revisited a couple of years down the road.

  1. Nick - Sep 5, 2009 at 10:17 PM

    This is a great series, Matthew! I took a stab at restoring the Phillies’ roster on my blog the other day: http://ownersmanuel.blogspot.com/.
    We pretty much agree on everything though I went with a more veteran team over rookies/prospects:
    I put Myers in the rotation and Outman in the bullpen. Either would be an imporvement over Carlos Silva or Adam Eaton in the rotation.
    I missed Ziegler as a Phillie, he would certainly make their rotation look better. I had Robinson Tejeda in his place. I went with Sergio Escalona over Antonio Bastardo in the bullpen.
    Our lineups are the same though we went with slightly different batting orders. I took Marlon Anderson over Jason Donald for the last spot on the bench. Anderson is still with the Newark Bears so I don’t count him as techincally retired.
    Looking forward to seeing the Braves, Mariners and Dodgers.

  2. kenny - Sep 10, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    I honestly hope thats not the actual lineup you would use, if it is, I hope you never manage my favorite team. Rollins third? Really? Even in his best seaons Rollins isnt a number 3 Hitter, hell he shouldnt even be in the top 4 of an order. Id bat him 5th or 6th.
    Heres my lineup for this team
    Bourn
    Utley
    Burrell- Theres no doubt Burrell would better in Philly, and he’s better then Rollins this year anyway
    Howard
    Rolen
    Byrd
    Rollins- His sub 700 OPS is sickening
    Ruiz

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