|By David Murphy, Philadelphia Daily News|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
3) The fates of subjects No. 1 and No. 2 could be intertwined.
His line-drive double off Blue Jays righty
Spring numbers are mostly meaningless. For Gwynn, though, they are indicative of an impressive process. He is the best defensive centerfielder in the upper levels of the organization (with the possible exception of starter
"He's a bright spot," was all Sandberg would allow.
The question is, whose spot will Gwynn take? The Phillies guaranteed
The Phillies have not offered much to suggest that Mayberry is a part of their plans in centerfield. Common sense suggests that they would jump at the chance to trade him. Common sense has suggested that since the middle of last season, and he has yet to be traded, which suggests the lack of a willing partner. Which means that, if Gwynn is in the fold, they will be paying Mayberry
Further muddling matters is the strained oblique that
And then there is
Could the Phillies keep Abreu and Gwynn, both of whom hit lefthanded?
"It's possible," Sandberg said. "As long as we have a righthanded bat on the bench as well. We'll see how it all works out. It's a possibility."
In such a situation, Frandsen would be the primary righthanded bat, with the switch-hitting Galvis providing further balance. Abreu and Gwynn and backup catcher
The Phillies could also buy themselves some time by keeping Mayberry as a sixth bench player until mid-April, when they would need a fifth starter for the first time. This would allow them to carry one more bench player instead of a 12th pitcher. Sandberg has previously acknowledged this possibility.
Which brings us to Buchanan. The 24-year-old righty continued to impress yesterday, striking out six while walking one and allowing two runs in four innings against a Blue Jays' lineup that included several regulars. Most impressive was the way he responded after allowing back-to-back home runs in the second inning.
"I was impressed with his composure," Sandberg said. "He had a couple of balls that were connected on, one was an 0-2 breaking pitch, he kept his composure, actually came inside on a couple of hitters after that to keep them honest. I thought he rebounded well there to minimize."
If the Phillies needed a fifth starter in the first week of the season, the choice would likely come down to Buchanan or veteran nonroster invitee
"It's a possibility," Sandberg said. "He would be a candidate for something like that . . . A good two-inning guy, three-inning guy is a valuable guy early in the season."
With 10 days left before Opening Day, there is still much to decide.
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