As we enter mid February and just days away from Pitchers and Catchers reporting to Clearwater, I wanted to get some discussion going with the Top 10 questions the Phillies face as it relates to the Minor Leagues.
1. Is Domonic Brown ready for a full time job in Philly and if not, should he be playing every day in AAA or part time in Philly? My vote is until Brown shows otherwise, he should be the everyday rightfielder in Philly. Less than 100 major league at bats and a difficult Winter League is not showing otherwise.
2. Who fills the open role(s) in the Phillies bullpen? The Phils have 4 givens in their bullpen (Romero, Contreras, Madson and Lidge). They need a long man, and that race will come down to Kendrick vs. Worley. Kendrick probably has the inside track based on the salary he will be receiving this year, which is in the over two million range. With two spots remaining, the Phils will have some significant decisions to make. Do they eat Danys Baez $2.5 million salary? Do they go with just one lefty in the bullpen, the inconsistent JC Romero? One would think that Antonio Bastardo has proven he can get big league hitters out, its his health that remains a question. Can Dan Meyer or Mike Zagurski fill the role of the 2nd lefty? There are a slew of minor leaguers who are major league ready (Mathieson) or are near ready (DeFratus, Schwimer, Stutes). How do they all fit in?
3. How will the three prospects acquired in the Cliff Lee deal respond to difficult seasons in 2010?
4. Is Freddy Galvis close enough major league ready allow the Phillies to let Jimmy Rollins walk after 2011?
5. Position Changes–How does Joe Savery respond to 1B? Jonathan Singleton to LF? Kelly Dugan to 1B? Aaron Altherr to 3B?
6. How good will the Clearwater rotation be? Does Jared Cosart stay healthy? Does the Trevor May turnaround continue?
7. Matt Rizzotti, Fact or Fiction?
8. Given their spots on the 40 man roster, how do Cesar Hernandez and Harold Garcia develop?
9. How much longer do the Phils give Anthony Hewitt with a crowded OF in the lower levels of the minors?
10. What do the Phils have in the “older” minor league arms that pitched so well last season–Josh Zeid and Austin Hyatt.