Roster Coming Into Focus

With less than 72 hours before the Phillies have to finalize their roster, the 25 players who will make up the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies are starting to come into focus.

While nothing has been finalized, the Phillies roster is taking shape. Jim Ed Warden has been shipped back to Cleveland and others have been shipped to the minor league camp. The biggest question marks are about health and just who will be ready to start the season.

Possibly the biggest surprise came earlier in camp when Justin Germano was placed on waivers and wound up in San Diego. Another surprise move came when Karim Garcia was cut and is now considering his options. It's possible that he could re-sign his minor league deal with the Phillies or wind up in another organization. Warden, who the Phillies picked up in the Rule 5 Draft, was quickly taken by the Indians when the Phillies offered him back.

Health-wise, Freddy Garcia will likely stay behind in Florida and it's not clear when he'll make his first start of the season. April 8th is a possibility, but that could be pushed back by as much as a week if things don't go as well as the Phillies hope that they will in his rehabbing from a stiff biceps muscle. Chris Coste is also battling an injury (hamstring) and the Phillies haven't been able to give him much playing time this spring.

Meanwhile, Greg Dobbs and Michael Bourn seem to have emerged as the front-runners to stick on the Phillies bench. Dobbs, a cast-off from Seattle, will provide the Phillies with help at third base and in the outfield, while Bourn will provide defensive help, especially in left field for Pat Burrell. The Phillies will also get Bourn at bats by putting him in center field and right field on occasion. The biggest question will be whether the Phillies start the season with 11 or 12 pitchers, since they won't need a fifth starter until the first Saturday of the season. During the time between opening day and then, the Phillies may be more in need of another bat off the bench.

The opening day roster is likely to look something like this:

Rod Barajas
Carlos Ruiz

Greg Dobbs
Wes Helms
Ryan Howard
Abraham Nunez
Jimmy Rollins
Chase Utley

Michael Bourn
Pat Burrell
Aaron Rowand
Shane Victorino
Jayson Werth

Brett Myers
Cole Hamels
Jamie Moyer
Adam Eaton
Freddy Garcia

Antonio Alfonseca
Clay Condrey
Geoff Geary
Tom Gordon
Jon Lieber (DL)
Ryan Madson
Zack Segovia
Matt Smith

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