PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The decision to place veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik on minor league baseball's temporary inactive list does not signal an end to his time in the Phillies organization. Podsednik, who lost out on a close roster battle with fellow non-roster-invitee Juan Pierre, will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in the near future, his agent said on Thursday.
The 36-year-old outfielder hit .309 with a .377 on base percentage and .455 slugging percentage in 55 Grapefruit League at-bats. He converted all five of his stolen base attempts and gave the Phillies a difficult decision about who to keep for the final spot on the bench. Ultimately, manager Charlie Manuel and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. decided on Pierre, who hit .377/.433/.426 and was 4-of-8 on stolen base attempts in 61 Grapefruit League at-bats.
Under the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed this offseason, Pierre had the right to opt out of his deal if he was not on the major league roster five days before Opening Day. Because Podsednik was not technically a major league free agent -- he spent all of last year on a minor league contract while attempting to overcome injuries to both feet -- he did not have the same right. Instead, his contract allows him to opt out if he is not on the major league roster on June 1.
Podsednik's only option besides reporting to Lehigh Valley was to retire. The decision to place him on the temporary inactive list was to give him a few personal days.
Podsednik was impressive throughout spring training, showing no signs of lingering soreness in his feet. Expect him to be at the top of the list for a call-up if injuries or ineffectiveness strike.