Roberson, Coste Survive Another Round of Cuts

Chris Coste and Chris Roberson are at very different points in their careers, but both are hoping for the same thing; their first shot at making the majors. Both survived as the Phillies cut eight more players on Monday.

There really weren't any surprises among the latest round of cuts in Clearwater. Infielders Joe Thurston and Bobby Scales, outfielders Shawn Garrett and Peter Bergeron and right-handers Ryan Cameron, Clay Condrey, Travis Minix and Brian Sanches were all sent back to the minor league complex to continue their springs.

That left Chris Coste and Chris Roberson standing as possibilities for the final roster spot with the Phillies.

Coste has perhaps been the story of the spring in Clearwater. Six weeks ago, Coste turned 33 and is still looking for his first spot on a major league roster. Coste was in the Phillies organization for the first year last season and opened some eyes with 20 homeruns and a .292 average. This spring, he's opening eyes with his performance in camp, which included a two homerun performance on Saturday. With any luck, his numbers will end his streak of nine years in the minors and will put him on the Phillies' roster as the final position player. Hitting .500 (11-for-22) has kept Coste in the mix this spring for a job with the Phillies as a utility player and being perfectly willing to catch in games has made him even more valuable to the club. If he lands the job, Coste would likely be a super-sub and emergency catcher, seeing little action, but he would be a part of the mix, nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Chris Roberson is looking for his first major league job, but at age 26, is in a very different place from where Coste is. Roberson played at AA Reading last season and was the Paul Owens Award winner as the best position player in the Phillies' system. During the off-season, he played in the Mexican Pacific League, which is comparable to a AAA league, but Coste played just 45 games. Still, he believes that it shows he can hit better pitching, since he hit .307 in Mexico. Roberson won't provide the power off the bench that the Phillies are looking for, but he does provide athleticism and speed off the bench, which wouldn't hurt either. He would also give them the true fifth outfielder that they need. The question is whether the Phillies will forego getting Roberson more at bats in the minors in favor of having him spend time coming off the Phillies bench.

Both Coste and Roberson are in the mix and if David Bell starts the season on the disabled list, it's possible that both could start the season with the Phillies. Of course, if Bell is healthy and the Phillies trade for a power-hitting fifth outfielder, then both could wind up as teammates at AAA Scranton. With less than two weeks to go in camp, both are still very much in the mix, but neither can breathe a sigh of relief.

Spring Stats

Chris Coste 3 8 .500 14 22 5 11 2 0
Chris Roberson 2 6 .303 15 33 6 10 1 1
Peter Bergeron 0 3 .409 12 22 6 9 0 0
Shawn Garrett 2 6 .226 14 31 3 7 1 0
Bobby Scales 0 1 .000 12 11 1 0 0 0
Joe Thurston 0 1 .235 14 17 3 4 1 1

Ryan Cameron 0 0 10.11 0 3 0 2.2 2 3 3 0 5 2
Clay Condrey 1 0 7.20 1 3 0 5.0 6 5 4 1 0 2
Travis Minix 0 1 2.70 0 3 0 3.1 3 1 1 1 0 2
Brian Sanches 0 0 0.00 0 5 0 5.2 6 0 0 0 2 6

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