03/30/09 11:07 AM ET
Phillies release Giles, option two others
Second baseman hit just .167; Carrasco, Mayberry to Minors
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
He learned Monday that if that happens, it will happen someplace else.
The Phillies released Giles and optioned outfielder John Mayberry Jr. and right-hander Carlos Carrasco to Minor League camp. They also informed right-hander Mike Koplove, infielder Pablo Ozuna and outfielder Jason Ellison that they would not be making the 25-man roster, but would accompany the team to Philadelphia on Thursday for the On Deck Series pn Friday and Saturday against the Rays at Citizens Bank Park.
The moves leave infielder Miguel Cairo as the only potential extra right-handed bat for the bench, which currently includes Greg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins, Matt Stairs, Eric Bruntlett and Chris Coste. The Phillies still are looking to acquire an extra right-handed bat in a trade or via the waiver wire.
The moves also leave right-handers Gary Majewski and Bobby Mosebach as remaining possibilities for a bullpen job, although their chances took a hit on Friday when the Phillies acquired left-hander Jack Taschner in a trade with the San Francisco Giants.
Giles hit just .167 (6-for-36) with three doubles, two RBIs and three stolen bases in 19 Grapefruit League games.
Giles, who was out of baseball last year, said he saw this coming for more than a week.
"I don't blame their decision," he said. "I got every chance in the world. It's not their fault. There's nobody to blame but myself. I would have made the same decision they did, to be honest with you. I'm not a guy to make excuses. I had my chance."
Giles had signed a Minor League contract with the Phillies, so they could have re-assigned him to Minor League camp. But with a glut of infielders at Triple-A, the Phillies figured it made more sense to let him go.
"I'm not going to get the at-bats I need there," Giles said. "So in a nutshell, I think they did me a favor by giving me my release instead of sending me to Triple-A to play once or twice a week. I just need some consistent AB's. I think I can make it back to this level."
Cairo, who can ask for his release if he isn't on the 25-man roster on Opening Night, is hitting .277 (13-for-47) with one double, three homers and six RBIs this spring. Ozuna is hitting .342 (13-for-38) with one homer and four RBIs. Cairo has shown the ability to play multiple positions, which is intriguing to the Phillies because they like versatility from their bench players. Ozuna is more of a pure second baseman.
Koplove is 0-0 with a 1.23 in 7 1/3 innings, but he lost a numbers game.
"I saw the writing on the wall," Koplove said about his chances to make the team once the Phillies got Taschner. "I was prepared. I felt like I had a really good spring. I threw the ball well for the most part. Hopefully, I put myself on the map enough that if something opens up I'm a guy that they call on. But at the same time, it's definitely a little disappointing."
There are multiple scenarios for Cairo, Majewski or Mosebach to make the team:
Cairo: The Phillies don't need a fifth starter until April 20, so they could open the season with 11 pitchers. If that happens, Cairo could make the roster. If the Phillies open with 12 pitchers, it seems Cairo only would make the team if they traded or released Jenkins or Stairs. One thing to consider with Cairo is that he can ask for his release if he isn't on the 25-man roster Opening Night.
Majewski or Mosebach: If the Phillies open the season with 11 or 12 pitchers, they would have no more than one available bullpen job. If left-hander J.A. Happ makes the rotation, the Phillies bullpen would consist of Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, Chan Ho Park and Taschner. If Park makes the rotation, there would be one bullpen job available. That would go to either Happ, Majewski or Mosebach.
Mayberry hit .246 (17-for-69) with six doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs. The Phillies prefer he play every day in Triple-A Lehigh Valley rather than sit on the bench and get a couple pinch-hit at-bats a week with the Phillies.
Carrasco went 2-2 with a 5.95 ERA in 19 2/3 innings. Like Mayberry, the Phillies want Carrasco to continue to develop in the Minor Leagues.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.