Michael Schwimer Returns to Phillies; Drew Carpenter Exits; Aaron Rowand Returning?

Posted by Frank Klose

Courtesy nbcphiladelphia.com

Lots of little bits today from the Phillies, though nothing huge.  As my pal John Russo from the Team to Beat blog pointed out, with only pure dominance from the Phillies, there is little drama to write or talk about.

First, Michael Schwimer has been added to the Phillies' active roster and should be available to pitch today.  Really, it was not much of a surprise, as Schwimer was only optioned to the minor leagues in order to create space for the Phillies to acquire John Bowker.

Second, Aaron Rowand could return to the Phillies once he clears waivers and is officially released by the San Francisco Giants.  Drew Carpenter got claimed on waviers by the San Diego Padres, potentially creating room for Rowand or for Joe Blanton to return from the disabled list.

For Carpenter, he never got much of a chance with the Phillies to get any regular playing time.  His chances were few and far between and came in the face of massive injury.  While he has been dominant in the minor leagues, even being a 17-game winner in a shorter class A season a few years ago, he has yet to do anything in the major leagues.  A  ground ball pitcher, if he has a chance to find a rhythm, he could find himself a career in San Diego and large Petco Park.

For Rowand, there is no benefit for the 2010-2011 season, other than the Phillies' ability to rest players during their double-headers coming up.   Rowand is not postseason eligible and would have to sit at home and watch the Phillies on television during the playoffs.

The benefit comes in 2012.   The Phillies could potentially have an outfield that includes:

  • Shane Victorino
  • John Mayberry Jr.
  • Hunter Pence
  • Domonic Brown or John Bowker
  • Aaron Rowand

The team would carry Carlos Ruiz and another catcher, perhaps Brian Schneider if he re-signs, for seven of the 13 position player slots

The infield projects as:

  • Chase Utley
  • Ryan Howard
  • Placido Polanco
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Wilson Valdez
  • Michael Martinez or John Bowker

Ben Francisco and Ross Gload do not figure to return.  Rowand is important for two reasons.  First, Ben Francisco would demand perhaps $1.5 – 2 million in arbitration.   Second, Rowand represents an upgrade as a backup centerfielder over Francisco and even John Mayberry Jr.   Saving even $1 million to carry Rowand over a Ben Francisco could be very important as the Phillies aim to re-sign Hamels, Madson, and Rollins.

A lot will depend on Domonic Brown and Michael Martinez.   If Brown is a starter, they may not want an extra right-handed bat on the bench.   Martinez has survied the season, and could be optioned to AAA Lehigh Valley next year if they wish to carry left-handed Bowker on the bench.  If Brown begins the season in AAA, there is room for Martinez and Bowker.

So, Rowand could be a nice pickup.   He will not be the .300-hitting-defensive-whiz-starter-five-hole-hitter he was in 2007.  What he could be: a solid fifth outfielder at a bargain price.