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Odds for Each Phillies Player on the Roster Bubble Making the Final 25-Man Cut

Alec SnyderContributor IIIFebruary 14, 2014

Odds for Each Phillies Player on the Roster Bubble Making the Final 25-Man Cut

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    Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

    It's been a big week for the Philadelphia Phillies. More specifically, it's been a big last couple of days for the Phillies.

    After news emerged on February 12 that homegrown ace and 2013 Opening Day starter Cole Hamels would not be ready for the opener in 2014, the Phillies' rotation immediately lost depth. Behind Hamels and Cliff Lee, the rotation stood as a bit of an enigma, with the final two spots not even cemented as of yet.

    Consequently, hours later, the Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. went out and signed right-handed starter A.J. Burnett to a one-year, $16 million contract with an option for 2015. And a day later, on February 13, minor league signee Chad Gaudin was released after allegedly failing his physical, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    With that all in mind, some of the Phillies' spring training battles have changed. Now that the first four rotation spots are firmly in place, three starters will vie for the fifth starter's job. A couple of other players also will have a stab at making the major league squad, although they may not be in the starting rotation.

    Having said that, here are the odds each Phillies player on the bubble has of making the 25-man roster.

     

     

SP Roberto Hernandez

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Pitcher Roberto Hernandez was signed at the end of the winter meetings with the intention that he'd serve as the fourth or fifth starter, depending on how the rest of the rotation panned out. Now, even with $4.5 million guaranteed to him in 2014, Hernandez is on the periphery of the Phillies' rotation plans and may not even nab the fifth starting job.

    In some ways, that could work out for Hernandez. Now that Gaudin has been released, the Phillies need a swingman, and Hernandez specialized in that role last year with the Tampa Bay Rays. Granted, $4.5 million would be a little expensive for a reliever, who most of the time only would start on occasion, but it only has been two years since Kyle Kendrick had that role and was paid slightly less than Hernandez's 2014 salary.

    If Hernandez doesn't make the rotation and there's no bullpen room for him, there's no telling what might become of him in the Phillies organization. That's a decision for a later point, and it's contingent on his losing out in two ways, which should be somewhat unlikely. However, it's difficult to say how good Hernandez will be, so spring training will be the judge of that. But since he's guaranteed a sizable sum for 2014, Hernandez's odds are better than some of the other players still to come.

    Odds of Making the 25-Man Roster: 40 percent

SP Miguel Gonzalez

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    The Phillies made a splash last July when they agreed to sign Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a six-year, $48 million deal. However, after an elbow issue arose, the deal was restructured to a three-year, $12 million contract.

    Since then, the general public has learned very little about Gonzalez. He's been throwing in the Phillies' Clearwater, Fla., complex since his signing, but past that, he's an unknown.

    As a result, he could wind up in a number of places. He could be a rotation staple if he has an excellent spring, or he could start 2014 in the minor leagues. Both options remain on the table with considerable odds behind them.

    At this point, Gonzalez probably will wind up as the fifth starter by some point in the year. Whether that point is Opening Day is the million-dollar question, and as of now, it doesn't have an answer.

    Odds of Making the 25-Man Roster: 30 percent

SP Jonathan Pettibone

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    Jonathan Pettibone is the only starter of the three competing for the fifth spot in the pitching rotation who already has experience with the Phillies. Those 18 starts may not be enough to save him, but he's certainly off on the right track.

    Pettibone took advantage of a couple of other players' injuries in order to make it to the majors in April 2013. When John Lannan hit the disabled list last year with a strained knee tendon, Pettibone was promoted, since he was viewed as the most finished product of the Phillies' young minor league pitching prospects. Had left-hander Adam Morgan been healthy as the season progressed, he could have taken Pettibone's job away and kept it.

    Was Pettibone spectacular? No. He posted a 4.04 ERA during the season and missed just more than the final month of the season with shoulder problems of his own. In order to make the rotation again, Pettibone will have to impress more this year than last. That's certainly possible, but just how possible is the big question.

    Due to his low salary obligation and many options remaining, there's a good chance that Pettibone will not make the cut. Stranger things have happened, though.

    Odds of Making the 25-Man Roster: 15 percent

3B Maikel Franco

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Maikel Franco will attend his first major league spring training this year, after emerging as the Phillies' top prospect in 2013. He batted .320 with a .926 OPS and hammered 31 home runs across two minor league levels. Needless to say, he's got a bright future ahead of him.

    Spring training will see Franco move across the diamond to first base from third, in order to emphasize his defense. Franco's glove isn't bad and his arm is terrific, but his speed and range may not make it at third base. Add in the power bat that's made for a first baseman and the fit is a logical one.

    However, Franco still could be considered for third base, if given the right opportunity. With Ryan Howard and his $25 million salary getting him every chance to impress at first, Franco still could see some time at third. And with Cody Asche—who himself doesn't have a death grip on the job—as the only major competition, Franco could win the job with an exceptional spring.

    Ultimately, Franco probably will begin 2014 in the minors and make the majors sometime during the season. When that is and at what position is uncertain, but he'll make an impact regardless of where he plays.

    Odds of Making the 25-Man Roster: 15 percent

OF Bobby Abreu

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    Eric Risberg/Associated Press

    Bobby Abreu was brought in as a minor league signing for a left-handed bench bat. Abreu returns to the Phillies fold for the first time since they made the playoffs in 2007, let alone won the 2008 World Series. He was one of a few Phillies core pieces from the early 2000s who did not taste the postseason in red pinstripes, and that's still far from a guarantee to happen in 2014.

    It's even further to expect Abreu to be a major contributor if he makes the final cut.  At almost 40 years old, Abreu was signed because of a good season in the Venezuelan Winter League. He didn't make any MLB appearances in 2013, and that still could spell trouble for his chances of success at his age.

    Abreu is a low-risk signing, but he could be a high-risk roster addition. His chances of making the roster will depend on his spring, but the outlook will be clearer once he's taken some at-bats.

    Odds of Making the 25-Man Roster: 15 percent

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