Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Phils acquire Gload; roster taking form

The Phillies' 2010 roster is taking shape. They've acquired their final bench position, signing free agent Ross Gload to a two-year deal. The left handed hitting outfielder hit .261 with six home runs and 30 RBI in 230 games for the Marlins last season. He hit .318 as a pinch-hitter.

Gload rounds out an impressive bench with outfielder Ben Francisco, catcher Brian Schneider and infielders Juan Castro and Greg Dobbs. The bench is very well balanced. Gload bats left and Francisco bats right, while Dobbs bats left and Castro bats right; giving the team a left and right handed hitter off the bench in both the outfield and infield.

Add Placido Polanco to an already outstanding starting lineup and a much improved bench, the Phillies offensive prowess is even more potent.

The pitching will, once again, be the concern. Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton appear to be locked in as the top four in the rotation, although there are grumblings that Blanton could be dealt at the Winter Meetings. Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer and prospects are likely to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation, unless the team acquires another starter.

The bullpen remains the biggest problem. Ruben Amaro Jr. stated Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero may not be ready by the start of the season. It's rumored that the Phillies are looking to land a big arm in the bullpen, not necessarily just fill in vacancies. The bullpen will be the biggest concern for the team throughout the remainder of the off-season.

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