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03/25/08 7:17 PM ET
Phillies close to finalizing roster
Final spot most likely to go to either Snelling or Helms
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- While the Phillies have until 3 p.m. ET on Sunday to finalize their roster, there aren't as many choices to debate. With Gary Knotts and Vic Darensbourg reassigned to Minor League camp Tuesday morning and Rule 5 Draft pick Travis Blackley's locker cleared out to potentially start the process of placing him on waivers and offering him back to the Giants, 30 players remain in camp. A team representative described Blackley's situation as "in limbo," a multi-step process in which the lefty will decide whether to accept a Minor League assignment or become a free agent. It's somewhat complicated, but the bottom line is this: Blackley isn't going to make the Phillies' Opening Day roster and will pitch for Triple-A Lehigh Valley or Triple-A Fresno, or will be looking for work. The total number of players falls to 26 after removing Brad Lidge, Kris Benson, Ray Olmedo and Scott Mathieson from the Opening Day equation. If the season started today, one scenario has the Phillies heading north with Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Adam Eaton, Tom Gordon, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Ryan Madson, Jamie Moyer, Brett Myers, J.C. Romero and J.D. Durbin on the pitching staff, with J.D. Durbin making the team despite a rough Grapefruit League performance in which he compiled a 12.33 ERA and allowed eight homers in 15 1/3 innings. The 13 position players are: Eric Bruntlett, Pat Burrell, Chris Coste, Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Geoff Jenkins, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, So Taguchi, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Jayson Werth.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.