The Phillies final roster didn’t contain any major surprises as the team opted to carry 12 pitchers to Pittsburgh for Opening Day.
The last men standing in the race for the final couple spots were Joe Savery and Pete Orr.
Savery, 26, edged out fellow lefty Raul Valdes for the final spot in the bullpen. The former Phillies top pick delved into becoming a position player in the minors before a rediscovered fastball propelled him through the minor league system and onto the Phils late last season.
Savery's first Opening Day is worth savoring.
"I'm humbled and grateful," he told Phillies.com. "I know where I was a year ago and how hard those two years pitching were for me."
Savery’s tenure in the pen could be short lived considering Jose Contreras is likely to return from the disabled list but just like Joe Bisenius and others before him, Savery can call himself an Opening Day-worthy major leaguer -- at least for this year.
Valdes, 34, outpitched Savery 1.32 ERA/0.88 WHIP compared to 3.48/1.45 and struck out five more in 3.1 more innings. But Savery likely got the nod thanks to be familiar within the Phillies system.
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The Orr move also likely has to do with familiarity. Orr, 32, has appeared in 55 games for the Phillies the last couple seasons and filled in for Chase Utley at times in both stints -- something he will do at times again. Orr’s versatility to be able to not only play second but third, short and even some outfield gave him the nod over Luna who is more a third baseman than anything else.
The odd man out of the whole roster shuffle is Podsednik who was optioned to Triple-A despite an impressive spring .309/.377/.455 most likely because he -- unlike the guy who got the leadoff spot on the Phillies ahead of him Juan Pierre -- had options to go to the minors. Don’t be surprised to see Pods be the first guy the Phillies call if any position player besides a catcher gets hurt.
Here is the full roster:
Starting pitchers (5): Joe Blanton, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee & Vance Worley
Right-handed relievers (5): David Herndon, Kyle Kendrick, Jonathan Papelbon (closer), Chad Qualls & Michael Stutes
Left-handed relievers (2): Antonio Bastardo, Savery
Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider
Infielders (6): Freddy Galvis, Orr, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Jim Thome and Ty Wigginton
Outfielders (5): John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix, Hunter Pence, Juan Pierre and Shane Victorino
Disabled list (5): Contreras (right elbow surgery), Justin De Fratus (right elbow sprain), Ryan Howard (left Achilles surgery), Michael Martinez (fractured fourth metatarsal in right foot) and Utley (chondromalacia)