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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When the Phillies signed Dontrelle Willis in the offseason, they had hopes he could be their left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. When Willis didn’t cut it, it opened a door that Joe Savery walked through.
Savery was one of the 12 pitchers to make the Phillies roster for the start of tomorrow’s season in Pittsburgh, along with two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders.
The pitchers for this year’s Phillies team will begin as right-handers Joe Blanton, Roy Halladay, David Herndon, Kyle Kendrick, Jonathan Papelbon, Chad Qualls, Michael Stutes and Vance Worley, and left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Savery.
The catchers handling one of the best pitching staffs in baseball are Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider.
The infielders are Freddy Galvis, Pete Orr, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Jim Thome and Ty Wigginton, with Chase Utley starting the season on the disabled list along with Ryan Howard and Michael Martinez.
The outfielders are John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix, Hunter Pence, Juan Pierre and Shane Victorino.
The team also sent infielder Hector Luna, outfielder Scott Podsednik and left-hander Raul Valdes to the minor leagues.
Pitchers Jose Contreras and Justin De Fratus will also begin the year on the disabled list.
The Phillies will begin their season Thursday in Pittsburgh at 1:35pm. The game can be heard on 94WIP and 1210 WPHT.