Let me rephrase the title a bit. "I admit it, I will like our bench when Utley and Victorino come back". The bench looks a lot better than it did at the beginning of the year. Some of this is due to new acquisitions, but some of it is due to players we have had that are playing better than expected. We may not have Pittsburgh's Iron Curtain bench, but it should be good enough to help us win a few ballgames down the stretch.
I presume our bench will look like this when Utley and Victorino are back. The Phils have 12 pitchers and 13 position players (though, it would be beneficial to drop a reliever despite the thought that the extra reliever actually helps). For the most part, I am pretending there is no Sept callups or that this is really their "post season" roster. More of a hypothetical here since everyone can be here on September 1st.
Dobbs (for sake of argument)
Victorino coming back is the easy move. Vic starts in right (though Werth has been werthy), Werth goes to the bench and Roberson hits the street.
Utley is a bit more complicated, since, well, we have 3 third baseman on our team. The first option is waiving Helms, Nunez or Branyan (I guess they'd have to DFA them) since Coste has to be here with Barajas out. If the Phils go this route, it might be bad news for Helms. Most want Nunez gone, but his defense keeps him around and we don't have anyone else to play short. Branyan is the new dog in town, but he has hit two 3 run jacks and has become a fan favorite instantly.
The second option and route the Phils will likely go is demoting a pitcher, since it is easiest. Presuming no other pitchers return, Yoel will likely get sent back down. This will be the best move, though, I don't think they realize why.
This leaves a bench of:
Call me crazy, but I think that is a solid bench. Good power, decent speed and both sides of the plate covered. The one drawback in the Phils mind is that you don't have a speedy no-hit player to replace Burrell (ok, Bourn is betetr than that). I guess Dobbs/Werth take up that role.
What I have no idea is how the Phils handle some of the other walking wounded returning. If, all of the sudden, everyone who can be healthy this year, turned healthy, what do you do?
Does Bourn stay, and if so, who goes?
Who does Madson replace? Condrey?
Who does Garcia replace? Durbin?
Does Barajas come back? Coste then gone?
You have to assume that Eaton is done for the year. You know Lieber is. Mathieson would be a September callup if he even is ready. Rosario would likely not make it back before September.
The Phils have a lot of interesting possibilities over the next 10 days. And, if they do make the playoffs, who makes the cut?