Entrenched in a battle for one of the Phillies final bench spots are outfielders Juan Pierre and Scott Podsednik, two speedy lefthanded hitters who each have a World Series ring and over a decade of big league experience.
Podsednik spoke to Comcast SportsNet Wednesday about his past experience battling for a roster spot.
Ive been in situations, and Im sure Juan has been in all types of situations going into spring training where youre fighting for your life trying to make the team as a young player, the 36-year-old Podsednik said.
Here we are battling for our lives again, battling to try to make the roster. But were all professionals, we know what we have to do out there, its just a matter of both of us going out there and showing our skill sets and showing teams what we can do.
So far this spring, Podsednik has hit .354 (17 for 48) with six extra-base hits and five stolen bases in as many attempts.
Pierre has hit .283 with one extra-base hit and is just 2 for 5 in stolen base attempts. Pierre took a step back last season with the White Sox, struggling defensively and on the basepaths. He entered 2011 with an average of 4.9 defensive runs saved per season, but cost the Sox 9.2 runs with his glove, per Fangraphs. Pierre was also caught stealing 17 times in 44 attempts, a success rate of 61.4 percent, the lowest mark since his rookie season.
In a pure meritocracy, Podsednik would likely make the team, but Pierre has an opt-out clause in his contract if he is not on the major-league roster spot by March 31. Podsednik cant opt out of his deal until June 1.
Going with Pierre at the start of the season would allow the Phillies to keep Podsednik around in case of injury, whereas giving him the nod over Pierre would almost certainly net the Phillies one fewer outfielder.
E-mail Corey Seidman at email@example.com.