01/11/13 1:35 PM ET
Inbox: Will Phillies try to acquire Nats' Morse?
Beat reporter Todd Zolecki tackles questions about all things Philly
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
-- Anthony F., Leesburg, Va.
The Phillies would love to trade for Morse. Love it. But there is just one problem with that: The Nationals. I can't see any reason why they would trade Morse to Philadelphia unless the Phils paid a crazy, over-the-top price for him. There is just very little incentive for the Nationals to boost a division rival like that. Don't bet on it.
How about this lineup: 1. Ben Revere; 2. Michael Young; 3. Chase Utley; 4. Ryan Howard; 5. Jimmy Rollins; 6. Carlos Ruiz; 7. Domonic Brown; 8. Darin Ruf.
-- Ivan E., Vineland, N.J.
It's not a bad idea, having Revere hit first. But I would bet pretty heavily Rollins will be the leadoff hitter Opening Day. Manager Charlie Manuel likes the status quo on some things, and his lineup ranks near the top. So early in the season, I suspect Rollins will be leading off, Utley will be hitting third, etc. Those things could change as the season progress. But early on? Go with what Manuel has done in the past.
Still waiting for an honest answer: Do you think the Phillies have a chance in their division with this lineup, or are they just depending on pitching again?
-- Richie G., Port St. Lucie, Fla.
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Sure, they have a chance. Anybody has a chance. The Phillies played .600 baseball the final two months of the 2012 season. I'm not saying they will play at that pace over a six-month season, but I think this team is good enough to make the postseason. Are they as good offensively as they were in the past? Absolutely not. But they're good enough to win 87-90 games, which could earn at least a Wild Card.
It looks like the Phillies have some impressive depth at catcher with Erik Kratz, Sebastian Valle and Tommy Joseph. I also am a big fan of last year's draftee: catcher Josh Ludy. Any chance of Chooch getting dealt?
-- Bill N., Temple, Texas
You forgot catching prospect Cameron Rupp. The Phillies like him a lot, too. The Phils do have a lot of catching depth, but I would be stunned if they traded Ruiz because of it. Joseph and Valle will be battling in Spring Training to see who gets the starting job with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but they're not big league-ready yet.
It is an interesting question because Ruiz is a free agent after the season. Maybe one of those two prospects will step up this year and make the Phillies confident about their abilities to play regularly in 2014.
Have the Phils expressed any interest in Delmon Young? He's a right-handed corner outfielder with pop. Maybe a one- or two-year deal?
-- Bryan S., Little Egg Harbor, N.J.
I've been getting a lot of questions about Young as the free-agent market dries up. There certainly are some reasons he makes sense. Young is right-handed. He has power. He is talented. Young was MVP of the 2012 American League Championship Series. He could come relatively cheap. But he also comes with a lot of baggage.
The Phillies seem to have done well acquiring good clubhouse guys this offseason in Michael Young and Revere. Could Delmon Young disrupt the team's clubhouse chemistry? Would it be worth the risk? At the right price, it might. And the Phils have some people in the organization that know him, including hitting coach Steve Henderson. They shouldn't be caught off guard if they move in that direction.
With the emergence of Kyle Kendrick last season and the addition of John Lannan, where does Tyler Cloyd fall into the mix? Back down to Lehigh Valley?
-- Jack H., North Wales, Pa.
I think Cloyd starts the season in Triple-A and is an option should they need another starter at some point. Jonathan Pettibone also is in that mix.
Which non-roster player invited to Spring Training do you see as a dark-horse candidate to get on the Phillies' roster this year?
-- Bob D., West Creek, N.J.
Well, the obvious choice is catcher Humberto Quintero. He figures to open the season with the Phillies because of Ruiz's 25-game suspension for using a stimulant. But after him, it could be infielder Andres Blanco, who could fill in if there is an injury to Rollins or Freddy Galvis.
Another dark-horse candidate is right-hander Zach Miner. He is a veteran bullpen arm. There will be competition this spring in the 'pen. Even if Miner doesn't make the team out of camp, he could get a look if there are injuries during the season.