The Phillies seem to lose another potential bench player every day. Between Darin Ruf‘s oblique injury and Freddy Galvis‘ MRSA infection, the Phillies are down two players who seemed like decent bets to make the Opening Day roster. How did the Phillies react? By designating yet another potential bench player for assignment.
Kevin Frandsen has been removed from the team’s 40-man roster and designated for assignment. While the move would seem to be counter-intuitive, it actually provides them with more flexibility. Frandsen was already on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, but it appears very likely that they’ll need to add at least one player who is not. If any non-roster invitees like Bobby Abreu, Ronny Cedeno, and Reid Brignac make the team, they will need to be added.
Frandsen has 72 hours to decide what he wants to do. He could refuse the assignment and become a free agent, but it seems extremely doubtful that he would do that, as he would no longer be entitled to his guaranteed $900,000 salary. Besides, he is still a strong possibility to make the team since the team still values his pinch-hitting skills and his ability to play multiple infield positions.
The Phillies will have to make decisions on Abreu and Cedeno this week, as both players can opt out of their contracts if not added to the major league roster. It is likely that Abreu will be added since he has shown an ability to get on base thus far this Spring.
Cedeno is a tougher call. He and Brignac are likely fighting for one spot, and Brignac has done much better at the plate so far this Spring. However, Cedeno has had a more accomplished career.
It seems likely that the bench battles will continue through the remainder of Spring Training, and depending on how quickly Ruf and Galvis recover from their ailments, perhaps well beyond.