Ruben Amaro Jr. wasted no time this offseason bolstering the bench with 3 players that fit the exact mold of what the Phillies needed. Juan Castro was first aboard as the utility infielder, then followed Brian Schneider at backup catcher, and now rounding out the final open reserve role will be 1st baseman/corner outfielder Ross Gload. The bench now consists of the three players named above with Greg Dobbs and Ben Francisco.
Gload, who will turn 34 close to Opening Day, is a veteran of 8 MLB seasons playing for the Cubs, Rockies, White Sox, Royals, and most recently the Marlins. The left-handed batter has a career line of- .283/.736 with 176 r, 77 2b, 28 hr, and 192 rbi in 608 games. I know this once again makes the Phils bench lean to the left (Schneider and Dobbs also LH), but Gloads has a better career average against lefties (.298) than righties (.279). His addition to the squad makes sense because he's a proven role player and has done a decent job of it during his career. The Phils would have likely gone with strikeout happy John Mayberry Jr. for the final bench spot had they not signed Gload, and Gload's .300 lifetime batting average as a pinch hitter gives me more comfort than Mayberry's 40% strikeout rate.
Winter Meeting Rumors:
*The Phillies have extended offers to Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre, but they seem to be less that thrilled by the proposal and signing does not seem imminent.
*Brandon Lyon fits the mold of set-up man with closing experience, but may be out of the Phils self-imposed price range.
*Joe Blanton is supposedly on the trade market. This makes no sense to me unless the Phils plan on bringing in someone better. Currently, Blanton is the only righty in the rotation and has been consistent pitcher over his career. The stories have him being traded to clear room (salary wise) for an established bullpen arm. Why in the hell are the Phillies clearing payroll? They are one of the most lucrative franchises in the MLB. I'm not saying they should spend like the Yankees, but if they don't put a quality rotation on the field that helps garner a 4th straight playoff appearance, then they'll lose more money by fans not showing up to the ballpark, buying merchandise, and tv revenue then they would by giving Blanton a couple extra million for one last season.