In our previous post we took a look at why parting ways with Michael Martinez might make the most sense for the Phillies at this point in time. But the Phillies have made it clear they would like to hold on to him for as long as possible. One option that would enable them to continue to do so would be to send first baseman/pinch-hitter Ross Gload to the disabled list.
Gload is battling a hip injury that has clearly affected him at the plate. All 11 of his hits are singles (he posted a .484 slugging percentage last year), he has yet to draw a walk, and he has struck out eight times in 40 at-bats (his career average is about once ever eight at-bats). He has not started a game since May 19, and he has three hits and five strikeouts in his last 19 plate appearances. The last two time he has reached base, the Phillies have immediately pulled him for a pinch runner, including Wednesday night, pitcher Kyle Kendrick replaced him on the basepaths.
Could the Phillies really send Gload to the disabled list? According to one of the folks who subscribes to my Twitter feed, Ruben Amaro Jr. said exactly that during a Q and A with WB Mason clients at the ballpark last night. If true, credit the scoop to @NovaLeprachaun
But it's hard to see Gload to the DL as a long-term answer. The move would leave the switch-hitting Martinez as the Phillies' only left-handed option for a late-game pinch-hitting situation (Wilson Valdez, John Mayberry Jr., Ben Francisco and Dane Sardinha are all righties). At some point, you have to figure the Phillies would need to promote a guy like Scott Podsednik to give Manuel a left-handed hitter who has demonstrated an ability to hit the ball out of the infield with some degree of consistency.
Maybe the Phillies figure that they will be able to do so in the next couple of weeks, and that by that point they will be able to swap in someone like Podsedik, who has played center field and last year hit .297 with 35 stolen bases, for someone like Mayberry.
In the short term, the Phillies can survive without a LH bat on the bench. Francisco and Mayberry might be better off batting against righties than any left-handed option the Phillies have. At the very least, DL'ing Gload buys the Phillies time, presuming they are as intent to hold on to Martinez as it appears. They can give Shane Victorino a week or two to get his feet back under him (Mayberry is the back-up at center field), get Domonic Brown to a point where he is playing every day (at which point Ben Francisco will be the regular right-handed bat off the bench), and re-evaluate everything.
If the Phillies feel like carrying two utility men all season will not be too much of a detriment, this would enable them to continue to do so.