Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Can we bring back Wilson?

Howard, Utley, Martinez.  3 players whom will now (barring a miracle) start the season on the DL.  Replacing them?  Freddy Galvis and.......uh....... Pete Orr?  Hector Luna?  Kevin Frandsen?  (I actually would have been ok with Frandsen, except for the fact that the Phillies are so high on him that they already sent him to minor league camp).  By trading away their top util. player for a reliever that can't even crack the 40 man roster, the Phillies have left themselves in the perilous position of lacking a backup middle infielder.  While Martinez's injury was unexpected, he is far from a great option when healthy.  A serious injury to Rollins and it would have meant Galvis, not Martinez, getting extended play at SS.  The problem now is that with Utley down, Galvis moves to 2nd.  Martinez then becomes the long term SS backup.  So who becomes the short term backup?  What happens now if Rollins gets hurt again?

The Phillies have never been honest with the media, so there is no way of knowing if they were actually surprised but Utley's status or if in the back of their minds they knew this might happen all along.  Though they brought in Ty Wigginton, he job appeared to be more of a backup to Peanut Head and a Howard fill-in rather than a starting 2nd baseman.  The man that could have filled in admirably, as he did the last 2 years when injuries called, was Wilson Valdez.  The Phillies got rid of him saying his production could be replaced internally.  With who?  Galvis was never expected to fill a utility role with this team, and would have been starting at AAA had no injuries occurred.  That left the Phillies with Martinez and a mish-mash of journeyman veterans, none of whom is anywhere near what Wilson Valdez is with the glove.  The Phillies clearly decided to make a fundamental change by going away from glove-first players on the bench.  While they certainly needed to add offense, they would have been wise to realize defense has been a large part of their rise to success and getting rid of their best defensive backup might not have been necessary to still have an overall change in the dynamic on the team.  Yes, I understand that carrying Wilson would have likely meant there was no place for Martinez.  Does anyway have a problem with this?  Put him at AAA - for one he would benefit from actually playing everyday (lest we forget he was a rule 5 pick with little, if any, AAA experience) - and for another thing, he would have gotten his chance sooner or later when Peanut Head, or Jimmy, or Utley went down.  I was highly critical of trading Wilson at the time, and this rash of injuries goes to show that my criticism may have been well placed.

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