Diving into the depths: Philadelphia Phillies

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Philadelphia Phillies
Rotation
1. Roy Halladay
2. Cole Hamels
3. Joe Blanton
4. J.A. Happ
5. Jamie Moyer
6. Kyle Kendrick
7. Antonio Bastardo
8. Jose Contreras
9. Drew Carpenter
10. Ryan Vogelsong
11. Joe Savery
Barring the addition of Pedro Martinez or another veteran, Kendrick figures to hold down the fifth spot at the start of the year, since Moyer is going to be recovering from his surgeries. I feel a little bit better about that than I would have a year ago, mainly because he improved his groundball rate in Triple-A. Still, he doesn’t miss bats. Contreras would likely prove to be a superior option, but the Phillies signed him intending to use him in the pen.
Bullpen
1. Brad Lidge
2. Ryan Madson
3. Danys Baez
4. J.C. Romero
5. Chad Durbin
6. Jose Contreras
7. Antonio Bastardo
8. Sergio Escalona
9. Jamie Moyer
10. Kyle Kendrick
11. Mike Zagurski
12. Phillippe Aumont
13. Scott Mathieson
14. David Herndon
15. Ehren Wassermann
16. Ryan Vogelsong
17. Pat Overholt
18. Bill White
Six spots are spoken for, but only if Lidge (knee) and Romero (elbow) can return from their surgeries in time for Opening Day. The Phillies still figure to add another left-hander from a group that includes Joe Beimel and Alan Embree.


Catcher
1. Carlos Ruiz
2. Brian Schneider
3. Paul Hoover
4. Dane Sardinha
First base
1. Ryan Howard
2. Ross Gload
3. Andy Tracy
Second base
1. Chase Utley
2. Juan Castro
3. Placido Polanco
4. Cody Ransom
Third base
1. Placido Polanco
2. Greg Dobbs
3. Juan Castro
4. Cody Ransom
Shortstop
1. Jimmy Rollins
2. Juan Castro
3. Cody Ransom
4. Brian Bocock
The Phillies were aggressive in going after Castro, even though they really could have used someone better in a reserve role, particularly since they lost Jason Donald (in the Cliff Lee trade) as another potential fallback. Fortunately, Polanco is their only infielder with a spotty track record as far as health and even he’s played in 140 games in three straight seasons.
Left field
1. Raul Ibanez
2. Ben Francisco
3. John Mayberry Jr.
4. Ross Gload
5. Dewayne Wise
Center field
1. Shane Victorino
2. Ben Francisco
3. Dewayne Wise
4. Chris Duffy
Right field
1. Jayson Werth
2. Ben Francisco
3. John Mayberry Jr.
4. Ross Gload
5. Dewayne Wise
The outfield depth isn’t in question. Francisco would be a perfectly adequate regular at any of the three spots, and Mayberry would offer power off the bench if any starters go down. Assuming that everyone is healthy, Mayberry will return to Triple-A. The Phillies are set with a bench of Francisco, Gload, Dobbs, Castro and Schneider.

Bruce Maxwell is the first MLB player to take a knee during the National Anthem

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Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

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This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.