Here's my look at the roster, as of right now-
- The Rotation- Assume Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are in. If they are traded before Opening Day, that would be rare, but so be it. Assume Aaron Harang and Chad Billingsley are in, if they make it through the Spring healthy. Then you get to the battle for the fifth spot, a battle I see as being between David Buchanan, Jerome Williams, and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, in reality, even though others are in camp too. I am of the opinion that a good Spring means David Buchanan wins the job.
- The Line-Up- Ben Revere will be back in center, leading off. Chase Utley will hit third and play second. While Ryan Howard will hit fourth and play first, I think he'll eventually be in a platoon. Dom Brown will get the chance to hit in the fifth or sixth slot and play a corner outfield slot this season, while Carlos Ruiz will catch and hit somewhere. Freddy Galvis will play shortstop and hit eighth too. That leaves in question third base, the other corner outfield slot, and who hits second. My sense is that Cody Asche will hit in the fifth or sixth slot and play third to start the season, though I wonder where he'll play later on when Maikel Franco comes up. My other sense is that Grady Sizemore will be the other corner outfield starter, at least to start.
- The Bullpen- While we all wish he was gone, Jonathan Papelbon will be here, as will Ken Giles, Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus, and Mario Hollands, barring a Spring meltdown. Jerome Williams will be the long man, as well. That leaves one spot, a spot that I think will come down to Elvis Araujo and Andy Oliver ultimately. I think the Phillies will end up keeping Elvis Araujo as the guy.
- The Bench- I believe Cameron Rupp will win the back-up catching job because he's on the 40 man roster and Koyie Hill is not. I also think Darin Ruf will make the team, to ultimately take some starts at first and on the corner outfield slots, as Howard and Brown struggle. I believe Rule 5 choice Odubel Herrera will stick as the fourth outfielder this season. I think Cesar Hernandez will be the utility man, in part due to his relative versatility, and his MLB contract. This leaves one spot. I think this comes down to Jeff Francoeur and Jordan Danks, and I have Francoeur winning, right now.