From where I'm sitting the biggest competition remaining in Spring Training is not for the final roster spot; instead, it's whether or not the Phillies will have 25 healthy bodies available to start the season.
If I were the head man for the Phillies I would take Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Ben Francisco and Jimmy Rollins and cover them head-to-toe in bubble wrap. They are the only every day players remaining who haven't been injured or laid up this Spring.
Victorino, Ruiz and Oswalt were the latest guys to get thumped, plunked or bushwhacked. They join Polanco, Utley, Brown and Lidge among the players who've had rough Springs.
* * * * * * * *
Wilson Valdez can't get enough respect. Why else would the Phillies sign Luis Castillo to any kind of contract, minor or major? Castillo is going to get a good look from the Phils this final week of Spring Training...and then his potential new employers will come to their senses and and cut him, too.
* * * * * * * *
Speaking of respect, Ben Francisco doesn't get much either. He appears to have had a good spring but hasn't been handed the starting job in right field. I don't see him every day, heck I haven't seen him at all this Sprng, so I don't know how he's handled the defense in right, but he would seem to have the edge given he's a right-handed batter with some pop and he can field. Still, there are some self-annointed experts over at another Phillies blog who predict Ross Gload will be getting a lot of playing time because of his bat. If he does, I hope they sit Gload when Cole Hamels pitches or we might see a reprise of Hamels' famous eyes-rolling disgust at bad defense behind him.