Phillies roster notes: A win for Quinn? Is Watson odd man out?


The Phillies have less than a week remaining in Florida and roster decisions are about to come to a head.

Has Roman Quinn taken the lead in the race to win the center field job?

Is veteran Tony Watson the odd man out in the bullpen derby?

Quinn continued his late-camp surge with a third-inning home run in Tuesday night's 9-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 27-year-old switch-hitter has quietly built his batting average to .323 (10 for 31) and his on-base percentage to .382. He has two doubles and a homer and is 3 for 3 in stolen base attempts. He still has 12 strikeouts and just three walks, but manager Joe Girardi has been pleased with Quinn's commitment to having better at-bats.

Quinn is battling Odubel Herrera and Scott Kingery for the center field job.

Herrera got off to a hot start but has cooled considerably. He is hitting .222 (8 for 36) with a .243 on-base percentage, three homers, a walk and seven strikeouts.

Kingery is 4 for 33 (.121) with 14 strikeouts.

With six exhibition games remaining before opening day and front-office meetings happening daily to discuss roster matters, it's fair to wonder if Quinn has become the frontrunner for the job.

"That's a great question," Girardi said Tuesday night. "I've said all along, we're going to let it all play out. But I've liked the way Roman has been playing. I have. He's been trying to do a lot of things to get on base. He's done it different ways. Obviously, that speed component is nagging to the opposition, the pitchers, the catchers, the infielders, and he's been using it well lately."

A big decision also looms in the bullpen, where the Phils have three veteran relievers on minor-league contracts trying to make the team. All three of them, Brandon Kintzler, Tony Watson and Hector Rondon, can exercise outs in their contracts on Wednesday if they don't like their chances of making the club.

It does not appear as if Rondon will make the club.

Kintzler has pitched well for the bulk of the spring and appears to have the inside track on a spot.

Watson, who allowed a couple of hits and an unearned run Tuesday night, is on the bubble.

Girardi did not sound optimistic when asked if he believed the team could carry both Kintzler and Watson.

"I'm not sure," he said. "Obviously, (Wednesday) is a big day and the next few days are probably even bigger, so we're going to have some discussions over the next few days and decide what we think is best for our team. They both have thrown the ball pretty well and we're just going to have to make some decisions."

Watson, a lefty, is slated to earn $3 million if he makes the club. The Phils, with a projected payroll of over $200 million, will likely have to weigh the benefits of carrying Watson over young lefty JoJo Romero, who already has a spot on the 40-man roster and will earn the major-league minimum of $570,500.

"I don't know if they're going for exactly the same spot, but the spots are pretty close," Girardi said. "I think you could say it's kind of the same spot and those are the discussions that we're going to have the next few days. Like, how are we going to do this? Who do we feel are the eight best guys to break camp with? And then we live with it and we go."

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