Whether the Phillies were simply filling out their minor league inventory or laying the groundwork for something bigger is known only to them. But amid a flurry of roster moves yesterday, the team also announced that it had agreed to terms on a minor league contract with outfielder Scott Podsednik.
Since 2001, Podsednik has played for six organizations (including the White Sox twice). The Phillies will be the seventh, pending his passing of a physical.
Podsednik, 35, started last season with the Royals, and was then traded in July to the Dodgers. A case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot ended his 2010 season in September. Still, he did hit .297 last year with 35 stolen bases in 50 attempts.
This winter, the Blue Jays signed him to a minor league contract - but plantar fasciitis reportedly flared up again. He ended up playing in Las Vegas, the Blue Jays' Triple A affiliate, where he hit .254 in 85 plate appearances.
He was released on May 11, reportedly at his own request.
Here are the latest housekeeping details for the ever-in-flux Phillies roster. Chase Utley will be activated from the 15-day disabled list today, before the game against the Reds. In anticipation of that move, infielder Pete Orr was optioned yesterday to Triple A Lehigh Valley.
In addition, the Phils will place starter Joe Blanton on the 15-day disabled list today. To fill his spot on the 25-man roster, Vance Worley will be brought back from Lehigh Valley. Worley will start tomorrow against the Reds.
The Orr move was anticipated, mostly because of the circumstances. The three logical choices for a move, with Utley's arrival, would have been Orr, Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez. Since he has options remaining, Orr was the neatest and cleanest of the three moves. Valdez would have been exposed to waivers, and Martinez - because he is a Rule 5 pick - would have had to have been offered back to his old team, the Washington Nationals.
Orr hit .230 with three RBI in 26 games.
"Part of the business," said Orr, who was understandably disappointed. "Any athlete wants to do better. Leaving here, hitting .230, I was doing well at the beginning and it would have been nicer to be leaving here with better stats, I guess. But it's part of the game."
Down by 1-0 in the eighth, manager Charlie Manuel went with relievers J.C. Romero and David Herndon, who combined to allow another run. Another option would have been to go with the young guns, Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes. Manuel said he went the way he went because Madson has a minor hand injury, suffered when he was hit by a line drive while getting his eighth save on Saturday night.
"We were staying away from Madson today because of his hand," Manuel said. "He's got a little soreness, a little puffy, in his hand. He's fine. He's OK. But at the same time, we kind of wanted to stay away from him today. We were keeping Bastardo and Stutes back . . . saving them in case we wanted to close the game out."
"It's nothing," Manuel said.