Amaro keeping eyes open, but nothing pressing
Sandberg eager to get Spring Training going, get his Phils players all on same page
PHILADELPHIA -- In a little more than two weeks, Phillies pitchers and catchers will hold their first official workout at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
There, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Ryne Sandberg almost certainly will answer another round of questions about the age of the Phillies' roster, and whether its core can stay healthy and be productive enough to help the team return to the postseason for the first time since 2011.
But between the latest round of those questions Monday at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association annual awards dinner in Cherry Hill, N.J., they also discussed a few other things.
Amaro said he does not have any Major League contract offers on the table, although that could change. At the moment, it appears any more players that come to camp will come on Minor League deals. Amaro said he continues to look for a center fielder to play behind Ben Revere, although that might have to come in a trade.
John Mayberry Jr. and Marlon Byrd are the only other players in camp with extended big league time in center field.
"We'd like to see if we can upgrade there," Amaro said.
Sandberg is itching to get a look at his rotation, which is pretty much set other than the fifth spot. Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez are locks to make the team, according to Amaro. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Jonathan Pettibone and others will compete for the No. 5 spot.
"Something could still be done when we get down and look at everybody," Sandberg said, referring to a possible late addition to the competition.
Hamels spoke critically of the team's chemistry early in the offseason. Closer Jonathan Papelbon echoed chemistry concerns later on a Boston radio station.
"I'm not going to reflect on the past too much," Sandberg said, when asked if he saw chemistry problems in the clubhouse last season.
But he acknowledged it carries importance during a six-month regular season.
"That's something that matters," Sandberg said. "I have a strategy of getting the players to work together, be on the field and everybody being on the same page. Being out for the national anthem and the first pitch as a group -- things like that bring teams together along with myself and my coaching staff being on top of that. With the core players we have, there is no reason why I can't ask these guys to be leaders themselves. But the ultimate leadership comes from me. With the core players we have, there is no reason why we should have bad chemistry in the locker room."
Freddy Galvis stands a good chance to be in the clubhouse come Opening Day. Asked about any possible guarantees for bench jobs, Sandberg said, "I give Freddy Galvis a little nod because of his ability to play short and second base and third base, left field and what he does defensively. Once we get rolling, I could see him playing twice a week and giving some guys some blows. I think that is a part of keeping the veteran guys healthy. I think he's a vital piece off the bench."
Other strong bets besides Galvis are infielder Kevin Frandsen and catcher Wil Nieves.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.