Pierre "grateful" for roster spot with Phillies
For the first time since he has a kid coming up with the Colorado Rockies, Juan Pierre had to win a job in spring training.
The 34-year-old, career .296 hitter signed a minor league contract with the Phillies this winter with no guarantees of a roster spot. Pierre had an out clause in that contract (March 30), but he put a lot of faith in his chances of breaking camp with the Phillies when he signed in late January.
A day after receiving the news that he would be added to the major league roster, Pierre was in the leadoff spot of the Phillies lineup for the first night game of the spring against the New York Yankees in Tampa.
"I know I was a long shot, being one of the last if not the last position player to sign," Pierre said. "Just to get an opportunity to come in and get some spring training at-bats, that's all I could ask for. I guess I did well enough for them to like me and keep me around for a while. I'm just thankful and grateful for them calling."
Pierre is hitting .313 (15-for-48) with a .377 on-base percentage in 23 games. With John Mayberry Jr. struggling mightily this spring (.188/.243/.490 in 25 games), Pierre may play more than many would have expected coming into the spring.
But Pierre, who hit .328 with a .414 OBP in 69 games as a reserve for the Dodgers in 2009, said he's comfortable in a backup role, too.
"I've done it before. I have experience with that," Pierre said. "Whatever role they want me to be in, I'll be prepared and ready for whenever they call me. That's what I can control. If I'm ready to go mentally and physically, I like my chances."
1. Juan Pierre, LF
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Jimmy Rollins, SS
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Hunter Pence, RF
6. Placido Polanco, 3B
7. Ty Wigginton, 1B
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Freddy Galvis, 2B
Scheduled to pitch: