Phillies Shave Off The Beard

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, November 17, 2009 01:13 PM | Comments: 108

Today the Phillies removed Eric Bruntlett from their 40-man roster to make room for some minor leaguers to be added to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.  This essentially means that Eric Bruntlett will not return to the Phillies in 2010.  Tyler Walker, Paul Hoover, Andy Tracy and John Ennis were also taken off the roster, though there is a chance Hoover, Tracy and Ennis could return next season.

In two seasons with the Phillies since coming over from Houston in the Brad Lidge deal, Eric hit .202 with a .550 OPS on top of two homers, 22 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.  Looking at those numbers, especially on the heels of a dismal 2009 campaign,  it’s surprising he even lasted this long.  However his contributions during the 2008 season – filling in for an injured Chase Utley – combined with his efforts in the post-season will remain his best memories in red pinstripes.

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Brian Michael has written 1164 articles on Phillies Nation.

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  • Posts: 0 Phils fan in NYC

    i know he gets blasted on this site all the time, but i liked the guy. He scored key runs, filled in on defense admirably, had a great beard and was never a jackass. Whenever there was some wild comeback, he was always one of the guys scoring. Sure, he was pinch running for some slowass, but hey, the guy was scoring key runs.

    I was at the game at citifield with the triple play, i’ll always have love for him for that alone. As a native new yorker who laughs at the mets, it was a great subway ride home.

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    I’m pretty sure that was Jimmy Rollins he filled in for, not Chase Utley.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The problem with Bruntlett is that he didn’t hit …. the problem with the fans is that for some reason everyone expects the “Utility Fielder/ 25th Man” to hit .400 with double-digit HRs

    Bruntlett played solid defense at numerous positions, whenever he was called upon.

    He won’t be greatly missed.. but he will be replaced by a similar unproductive-offensive player.. because those are the guys that fill that role.

    If your 25th Man was capable of hitting .300 and winning Gold Gloves.. he wouldn’t be available to your team as a 25th man, because he would be starting for some other team.

    Lets keep that in mind when we sign Player X this offseason..

    I was a fan of Bruntlett because he was on the Phillies.. and he hustled … that’s good enough for me! I wish him well

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I posted this on one of your threads yesterday… sounds like somebody had a case of the Mondays.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Just because hes the 25th man doesnt mean its ok for him to suck. Itd be nice to have a 25th man who does not suck.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Don – you’re a Bruntlett supporter and I respect that. I don’t think that he’s a terrible player (he’s a good base runner, he doesn’t hit into DP’s, he can bunt and he can adequately field multiple positions) BUT we’re moving forward without him and I understand why. There are other tastier fish in the sea and we might be able to land one of them… if we don’t end up with a super utility guy, a minor league replacement is not going to kill this team and it would save us some money. I would rather see us roster one decent bench guy and one minor leaguer than two non-productive bench bats (a la Stairs/Bruntlett).

  • Posts: 0 Amazinsux

    So long, Grunt! The fact you lasted two years on the Phillies roster is about two years too long. Won’t be missed one bit. Happy trails!

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I said all year long last year, that if we could find someone BETTER than Bruntlett.. I would be all for it

    Its not that I’m a Bruntlett fan really.. its just that I refuse to knock guys for no reason. If you NEVER get to play.. how are you supposed to produce in that rare chance you get at the plate??

    And I said like two weeks ago..

    Considering our previous “25 Man” were guys like Tomas Perez, So Taguchi …

    Eric Bruntlett wasn’t too bad .. people get way to caught-up on Offensive Numbers for BENCH PLAYERS

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    I wonder what level of suckiness is acceptable for the Phillies 25th man? Alot depends on what they do with 3b, but I think Ruben and Co are of the mindset that their regular line-up is pretty much sufficient in the offense dept, probably looking for someone who can fill in defensively and not hurt you. I don’t see them going all hog wild over a bench guy, but I could be wrong.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    That’s the whole point… if you are really concerned what the last guy on your bench does with the bat … maybe you should have planned out your lineup a little bit better

    That is why they won’t get DeRosa or someone as a bench guy if they cost $3+ Million … you can’t go spend Monopoly money .. so you pick the best out of the guys that are willing to play for the League Minimum, or just above that ..

  • Posts: 0 Jeff G.

    The problem is that The Beard does not belong in the majors. Get rid of him. Trade for Cole. Send Cole and two AAA players for Doc. Dock, Lee, Drabek, Blanton, and Happ. Bring in Figgins or Beltre. Get a few bench players and build up the pen.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    And increase the payroll to $200 Million.. and charge $65 for Outfield seats..

    sounds like a plan

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    Love how everyone is still on the trade Cole idea. 25 year old lefty who two years ago was MVP of the world series… you’d have to be out of your mind.

    Pitchers have bad years. We all love Cliff Lee and he’s an amazing pitcher to watch, but in 2007 he went 5-8 with a 6.29 era and had to be sent back to the minors. Kind of puts that 10-11 season into perspective. Let’s see how Cole does this year before we give up on the guy, Lee bounced back in 08 winning the cy young award.

    I think it would be an expensive, but i’d like them to sign Beltre for third (Better defense and higher offense potential) and Derosa as our utility guy. My reasoning is that the team really seemed run down in September this year when they were trying to clench. Having a guy like Derosa would really give the team the option to spread out some offdays without sacrificing too much offensively or defensively. It would also let us have a bench guy getting fairly steady work to keep the bat alive.

  • Posts: 0 Lucky

    I really liked Walker…He showed potential last season, though Manuel never really used him in too many Key situations. Not to mention he would of came cheap.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Phils aer looking at Jamey Carrol for Bruntlett’s rol. Me likey.

  • Posts: 0 Max

    Bruntlett, like many former Phillies, will not leave without his fair share of memories. Most former Phillies, however, didn’t have blogs petitioning for their release, like we were. It’s a happy, happy day at FEB.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Who, really was the 25th man, Bruntlett or Stairs? One bad bench spot I can see, but not two. This year, the bench didn’t perform at all offensively, and it needs an upgrade, because even defensively the bench players weren’t all that good.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I was surprised when Stairs was kept over Jenkins at the start of the season..

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    even Dobbs only had like 150 at-bats …

    It doesn’t matter if you have ICHIRO on your bench .. if he only gets to the plate once every 10 games, he’s not going to feel comfortable, or have any success

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Bruntlett was a decent utility guy but we can still expect .230 from that kind of guy, not 170.

    Let’s move on.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    You cannot expect a DH-quality player on your bench in the National League because, if they were DH-caliber, he would play DH in the American League and be paid like a DH in the American League.

    Don, Jenkins wasn’t picked up by any team during the season so he must be toast.

  • Posts: 0 MOAB

    Havoc, I’m just dumbfounded that Happ is always listed last in everyone’s pitching rotation…

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I think that if we go out and get a guy like Carroll or Derosa, we can get them enough AB’s to have success… the problem with Bruntlett and Stairs is that neither of them are well rounded enough to rely on. You’re essentially giving up something by using either of those guys for an entire game… if you had a guy that could play a little defense and swing the bat and play a few positions, you could afford to rest Utley, Feliz and Ibanez (without severely hurting your lineup).

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I liked the Beard, he hustled, played every position except catcher and pitcher, was a good team guy. And when he got some playing time at the end of the season and played 3 out of 4 days he had like 4 hits. Cut the guy some slack, I am not saying they should keep him, but he was on the team that won a WFS and then went back the next year. So he will be remembered. I wish him luck and thank him for two quality years of service to the Phillies.

    I agree with the point the starters need a little more rest during the year, not just to rest the regular guys but to keep the bench guys sharp and in the game. Look at Dobbs compared to 08, he had many more at bats, then in 09 and he was a better hitter then. I do think the bench guys need to be able to defend their position in the field more then Stairs could

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I dont care is Cole is the next coming of Carlton, which he isnt. He has a terrible mindset to play in this town. I dont like what came out of his mouth. The league has caught up to him. Yes if we have to pay 65 for seats thats fine. They yankees do and they have the RING.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    Hey MOAB, I’m pretty sure that right now Moyer should be listed last on everyone’s rotation unless he decides to retire or the Phils plan on eating a huge amount of $$. I like Happ as the #4, but at the sametime (Setting aside payroll restrictions) if the Phils could get Halladay for Happ, Taylor, & a carpenter/savery type I’d make that deal in a second.

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    Jeff, If you want to dream about the Phils have a 200 million dollar payroll like the Yankees that’s fine, but be prepared for dissappointment. If we can get to 150 I’ll be more than satisfied.

    Cole is a strange guy who’s gonna say strange things, we can put up with him if he can help us win. I think we need more than one bad season to be sure that he can’t. Let’s see how his offseason goes from what I hear he’s going to be working on pitching 2-3 days a week during the winter, I pray to god he learns to throw a cutter.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Phillies can’t get Halladay for Happ, Taylor, and anyone besides Drabek or Brown

    Best chance to get Roy Halladay, is as a Free Agent next year, when we lose Cliff Lee

    Geoff Jenkins could at least play defense and run the bases …. Matt Stairs had ONE of Five Tools … POWER .. and all that power got him 5 HRs

    I bet that Stairs isn’t picked up this year either.. its nice to have a Power Threat on the bench, but I would have kept Jenkins because he can do a few more things

  • Posts: 0 Havoc

    Can’t see having to pay the trade dealine price for Halladay now that it’s just a one season thing, but I guess we’ll see how it goes.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I think these 4 signings would improve the club. Money wise it’s plausable.

    J. Carroll as a utility infielder (R)
    E. Chavez as a 5th OF (L)
    M. Derosa at 3B
    R. Betancourt in the pen as insurance

  • Posts: 0 joe

    who scored the winning run of the world series?

    not every can be utley, howard, rollins

    ease off

  • Posts: 0 MOAB

    Pinch running for Burrell, joe? Anyone with average speed could have done that. I”m not dogging the guy, but that’s hardly an accomplishment. Maybe if he hit himself there…

  • Posts: 0 Dan S

    jeff, you scenario will never happen. First of all Drabek is NOT ready for the majors he still hasn’t pitched in AAA. Also, as it was previously stated the phillies don’t have enough money. They would need to get 1 starting pitcher(Drabek is not starting the year in the rotation), new third basemen, 1 or 2 bench players and at least 2 bullpen pitchers. Thats 5 new contracts not to mention Roy Halladay’s contract. Also, add in all the players who will file for arbitration which include victorino who will most likely get a long term deal, and blanton who will get a decent amount for next season. This look like around a $200-250 million dollar payroll. reality check…that is not happening

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Forgot the backup catcher. I like the write-up on Henry Blanco on mlbtraderumors. Says he throws out 40% of runners against him. That would make

    J. Carroll as a utility infielder (R)
    E. Chavez as a 5th OF (L)
    M. Derosa at 3B
    R. Betancourt in the pen as insurance
    H. Blanco back up cacther (R)

    Important that the Phils improve against left handed pitching which is why I’d want a right handed hitting catcher.

  • Posts: 0 Dudley Monk

    The Phightens need Juan Uribe as their infied utility player. He can play ss, 3rd and 2nd and hit for some power. He can also ensure that Jimmy Rollins does not cruise, but hustles all year. He can also pinch hit. If someone gets hurt for a period of time, he will be a valuable and effective replacement. Someone is bound to break a toenail at one time or another. Uribe is only 31. Much better than Bruntlett.

  • Posts: 0 Dudley Monk

    Derosa would be solid at third, so would Beltre.

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I for one like the fact that you can get decent seats at the Bank for reasonable prices, we have a ring, and do not pay $70 for nose bleed seats(not that there are any really at the bank,) If that means we only get one ring every 3or 4 years and are always in the playoffs or in the hunt for the WS, like that much better, then eliminating much of your fan base because they can not afford to go. IMO DeRosa is not an everyday 3rd basemen but that is just me.
    Uribe is a interesting chose, I kind of like that idea, or a player like that, that can spell whoever is at third and rest Chase a little more.
    I see Dobbs as having a rebound year, maybe not 08 pinch hit numbers but better then 09. I say you concentrate on re-signing Lee for 3 years and hope some of the prospects(Drebek) will be ready by 2011 to solidify our rotation. Cole deserves another year to see which one shows up. If he can be a solid #2 guy with Blanton, and Happ for next year. Then when these minor league guys are ready to step up you end up losing Blanton before 2011 and go from there. Build from the farm up. I still hold out hope for Feliz to resign at about 4 mil. and get a good bench guy that can rest him, DeRosa would be great for that, but I think he would be too expensive for that roll. I like Beltre but I worry about his ability to stay injury free, same goes for De Rosa.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I would’ve kept Jenkins over Stairs, too… but oh well.

    Re: Beard. Thanks for the hustle and for filling in when needed, but we gotta move on. There are definitely better options out there.

  • Posts: 0 MikeB

    I too thought that they should have kept Geoff Jenkins on the team last spring instead of releasing him. Believe that he was 35 years of age and declining in ability but still would have had quite a bit more left in the tank than Matt Stairs. Amaro Jr. was wrong on this one as I believe that Jenkins would have done a much better job pinch hitting compared to Stairs and Bruntlett and would have been a much more capable outfield replacement and fill-in. The Phils gave up on a great team player and player-cheerleader on that bench. If I remember correctly, Amaro Jr. was talking about bringing in Gary Sheffield or Andruw Jones at the time with neither of those possibilities panning out.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    Bruntlett was a good guy, but very inconsistent and lets remember that he made many key errors. If your role with the team is as a bench player you need to be one or 2 of the following.
    A long ball hitter, contact hitter, or a solid glove.

    This season he was none of them.

    Don, your claim of the 25th man is fine, but hitting .0something and not making good defensive decisions makes him suck!

    saying your 25th man hits .125 or worse shows very little expectation for that spot. Shoot I should try out.

    I look at Ben Francisco as a 25th man type player.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I look at Ben Francisco as the 4th Outfielder.. and your top RH pinch-hitter

    In the National League.. that means a lot

    It means that he should play in almost every single game, in some role

    Bruntlett, however, is there in case of an injury, etc.. so that if Rollins or Utley were to go down during a game, you wouldn’t have Greg Dobbs playing SS

    They are looking to bring Miguel Cairo to Spring Training … he’s that same type of player. You guys can’t expect everyone on the roster to excel at hitting .. when a guy’s main role is to be a UTILITY MAN

    Bruntlett had a few errors this year, and that’s why he is being let go.. they could care less about his hitting

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Yea Honestly… I think the real problem is that people expect the Phillies to have a team where a player like Ben Francisco.. or Greg Dobbs .. is the worst player on the team

    and that isn’t going to happen, ever ..

    Francisco could start for multiple teams in MLB.. and Dobbs is one of the best pinch-hitters in baseball over the past 3 years

    For some reason, since we started winning, people forget what the makeup of a Major League Roster is …

    things you need include:
    A Defensive-Minded Utlity Player..capable of playing multiple positions
    One or Two LONG RELIEVERS in the bullpen (often these guys have ERA’s at 4.50+) ..

    And those are the guys that fans say “SUCK” .. we’ll they don’t suck if they are playing in the majors.. but they aren’t AWESOME either .. they are guys in a role in the majors ..

    we’ll have those same types of players this year.. and I’m really looking forward to reading all the negative posts in May, when Player-X is batting only 3-for-24 but gets used to pinch-run, play defense, and get random starts in Day games, after Night games

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Think about what you are saying about Jenkins vs Stairs….

    Stairs was tearing it up at the plate during the early part of the year. Remember Harry’s last home run call?

    Jenkins could have been had for the MLB minimum salary last year but was NOT picked up by any team.

    ADAM FRIGGIN EATON could have been had for the MLB minimum salary and was picked up by TWO TEAMS.

    If Adam F. Eaton was picked up twice and Jenkins was not picked up, what does that tell you about Jenkins ability?

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    joedad: You could make a similar argument for Pedro Martinez… nobody wanted him… and he was just sitting there waiting for a team all season long (salary-wise there wasn’t that much of a difference between what Pedro got pro-rated and the league-minimum salary).

    Maybe there was something else about Jenkins that we didn’t know? Injury?? But he was solid –even in 2008 and DESPITE Matt Stair’s historic moonshot– he was still the better bench player for this team.

  • Posts: 0 MattXner

    I am relieved that Eric Bruntlett won’t be returning next season. I enjoy my men clean shaven…everywhere. Furthermore, Bruntlett was way to versatile of a player. You could put the man in almost any position. Nobody wants a player that can play almost every position. I just want a man that can play one position…catcher.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Bruntlett was an “emergency catcher” if that helps you at all ??

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    This is almost the perfect summary of my arguement, as to expectations:
    From Andy Martino, Daily News…

    “So here is what Amaro needs to find: A guy who can play shortstop, and is willing to accept a bench role, and can handle the bat well convince Manuel to use him.

    One problem. That guy probably does not exist.

    “If the ideal guy was there, he would be playing every day in the major leagues,” Amaro said. “The likelihood is not great that we’re going to find a guy who can hit enough and field enough. You’re going to have to make a sacrifice.”

    So where will Amaro make that sacrifice? On offense, apparently. He is seeking someone who can play the difficult position of shortstop, and has played that position regularly. By cutting ties with Bruntlett, the Phils sacrificed their only player who could sub for Rollins if the shortstop were injured for a significant period of time.

    “Shortstop is a specialized position, almost like catcher,” Amaro said. “You would err on getting defense over offense.”

    That would seem to eliminate the following names from the super-utility hunt, among others who haven’t played much shortstop lately, if ever: Jamey Carroll and Ronnie Belliard.”


  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Thanks to the Beard for playing hard for two years. Good luck.
    I think the Cards do it better than anyone – a few core guys, good starting pitching, then a bunch of role players. Bench players and the bullpen (with the exeption of closer) are usually filled with older players whose best days are behind them, guys with an injury history trying to make it back, or one dimensional players. The Phils have done a pretty good job with this over the past several years, even generating 2 all-stars (Werth and Vic), and getting one of the best single season pitch hitters ever.
    I think Cairo is an upgrade over Bruntlett, could certainly live with him starting 3 or 4 times a month spelling Utley and Rollins. I thought I heard that Dobbs was injured to begin 2009. While I don’t expect a repeat of 2008, if back to health, feel good about him starting at first, third, and left here and there, the primary lefty pinch hitter, with Francisco the righty pinch hitter and 4th outfielder. Off the bench, all you really need is a lefty power bat.
    The other hole remaining is another righty starter. Pedro wants to pitch another year, wouldn’t be a terrible signing. Start him once/week, with Moyer and Kendrick filling in the gaps. Won’t really help in OCt though. I’d still love to see Halladay in red pinstripes, and don’t think he’s going to cost all that much. Jays want to shed salary, and don’t want him in the AL east. Cubs and Dodgers are in a financial mess, and the Mets don’t have much to offer (unless they agree to take Well’s salary). Their finances aren’t strong either. Detroit has starting pitching, and the White Sox have too many holes to spend all their money on 1 guy. I think the Phils could get away with an mlb ready starter (Happ?) and an outfield prospect. The competition is probably limited to the Angels (unless they sign Lackey), the Rangers, and maybe the Braves. I have also heard on the 4 letter network that Halladay is looking for a 3 year deal, while Lee is looking at a Sanatana/Sabbathia type contract when this contract is up. Hamels and Halladay for 4 years, with 1 year of Lee looks pretty good, and may not break the bank.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    “You would err on getting defense over offense.” EXACTLY. If you have to sacrifice a little offensively to get a guy who can adequately fill in for Jimmy and/or Chase defensively, so be it. I see Jeff (G) has put in his 2 cents, hope he has more than that to spend for Phils tickets if they increase the payroll and start spending $$$ like the Yanks. And Cole is not going anywhere this year, knock it off.

    MattX, thanks for sharing, but that’s a little tmi….

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Ditto, Georgie.

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