Monday, May 4, 2009

The 25th Man

The goal of any fringe player coming out of spring training is to make the 25 man roster. The belief is simple: if I make the roster, then I at least will have a chance to show the club what I can do. Not to mention that playing in the big leagues is much better than the minors.

But how about the guys that make the 25 man roster out of sprig training, but never get a chance to play? On one hand, it has to feel great being on a major league roster, but at some point, I imagine frustration must set in that the opportunity to play is very limited.

So I thought I would highlight some players who have been on the major league roster for the entire season (NO DL, NO MINORS), but have been used very sparingly off the bench. I did not include backup catchers, who generally play at least once a week.

As you will see, strong defense will be a common theme on this list.

Omar Quintanilla, SS, Rockies
: Has only played in 8 games with a whopping 9 at bats (with no walks!) so far. Stuck behind Troy Tulowitzki, Clint Barmes, and Ian Stewart on the depth chart.

Ryan Roberts, 2B, Diamondbacks: Has only appeared in 13 games with a whopping 16 plate appearances. Stuck behind Felipe Lopez for playing time.

Jeremy Reed, OF, Mets: Has appeared in 19 games, mainly as a defensive replacement. Only 11 at bats so far because of the litany of guys ahead of him: Sheffield, Church, Murphy, and Tatis.

John McDonald, SS, Blue Jays: Has appeared in only 11 games with a whopping 9 at bats so far. Stuck behind the immortal Marco Scutaro and the resurgent Aaron Hill for playing time.

Tony Pena, SS, Royals: Has appeared in only 10 games this season with 12 at bats. The slick fielding Pena does not have a hit yet and is stuck behind Alberto Callaspo and Mike Aviles for playing time. (UPDATE: Pena is hurt. No playing time soon.)

Miguel Cairo, SS/2B, Phillies: Has appeared in only 9 games so far this season, logging 8 at bats. Cairo is stuck behind Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley on the depth chart so playing time will be hard to come by.

Matt Stairs, OF, Phillies: Has appeared in only 15 games with 13 at bats this season. Stairs has been relegated to pinch hitting duties because of the Phillies corner outfielders (Werth, Ibanez) and the massive amount of left handed hitting in the Phils everyday lineup. And plus, at 41 years old, Stairs is not exactly fleet of foot in the outfield anymore.

Paul Janish, SS, Reds: Has appeared in only 7 games with 15 at bats this season. Stuck behind Alex Gonzalez and Jerry Hairston Jr for playing time. Must Increase Versatility!

No comments: