40 Man Roster Decisions – Part 1 – On the Roster

One of the first big moves of the offseason is the reshuffling of the 40 man roster.  The Phillies have already made their first round of cuts but they still have some work remaining to get down to enough to protect newly Rule V eligible players as well as sign free agents.  We are going to kick off this series by looking at the players already on the 40 man roster who may be on the bubble.  I have deemed players with established major league roles as safe and won’t discuss them here (this includes De Fratus, Diekman, Pettibone, Asche, Galvis, and Hernandez), I am including players who either are on the fringes or are pure minor leaguers.  I am going to give my opinion on what the Phillies should and give my guess at what they will do.

When it comes to players already on the 40-man roster, removing them subjects them to the waiver process.  This gives each team the option of claiming them, if claimed a player most only then be placed on his team’s 40 man roster.  If you are looking to keep some of these players in the org the big thing to look at is number of options years left.  A player with multiple options and some talent is likely to get claimed purely for a look, other, more fungible players can be snuck through waivers a bit easier. (*All ages are for Opening Day 2014)

Phillippe Aumont – Age 25 – 1 option remaining

There have been many things written about Aumont and his struggles, but he still may have the best raw stuff of any pitcher in the organization.  That is not something that is given away for free on the waiver wire.  If the Phillies decide they want to cut ties with Aumont, they should be able to extract a low end prospect for him. MW: Keep Phillies: Keep

Ethan Martin – Age 23 – 2 options remaining

Bullpen or rotation, it doesn’t matter, Martin will have a role with the 2014 Phillies. MW: Keep Phillies: Keep

Cameron Rupp – Age 25 – 3 options remaining

Rupp might not make the opening day roster but he projects to be the Phillies back up catcher for as long as he is cheap. MW: Keep Phillies: Keep

B.J. Rosenberg – Age 28 – 1 option remaining

Rosenberg has always had the arm strength, but batters always seemed to make hard contact with it.  In 2013 he finally seemed to have found some secondary pitches with enough movement to keep batters honest.  Rosenberg profiles more in a middle relief role, and he is especially dangerous against RHBs.  Ultimately only so many people throw as hard as Rosenberg and you give those guys repeated chances to prove themselves. MW: Keep Phillies: Keep

Luis Garcia – Age 26 – 3 options remaining

Garcia came out of nowhere in 2013, his story at this point in fairly well know.  On the mound he throws a plus fastball and a slider that will show anything from 40 to 60.  The problem is that neither pitch goes anywhere near where he wants it to go, and in 31.1 IP in 2013 he walked over 6 per 9 innings while keeping a 3.73 ERA, so there is bad regression lurking (5.12 FIP, 4.92 xFIP).  However, only so many players throw as hard as Gracia, and his arm is relatively fresh compared to others in the org which gives him a bit of an advantage to try and put it together long enough to give some value. MW: Keep Phillies: Keep

Jeremy Horst – Age 28 – 3 options remaining

Horst and Savery are the definition of fungible reliever and the team really can only carry one of them going forward.  After being a star of the 2012 bullpen Horst crashed in 2013 as injuries and a drop in velocity forced him out of action.  I don’t trust that Horst is back ready to go and that his 2013 was more indicative of his true talent. MW: DFA Phillies: Keep

Joe Savery – Age 28 – 1 option remaining

Joe Savery as a reliever has managed to turn a disastrous career into a marginally useful one.  Over the past 3 seasons he has logged 47.2 innings that have amounted to about replacement level.  Outside of one horrible outing Savery was actually quite good in September of 2013 after returning from injury.  His stuff has held up better than Horst and I like his ability to give multiple innings a little better.  But ultimately Savery is your emergency LHP you stash in LHV one an injury occurs. MW: keep Phillies: DFA

Michael Stutes – Age 27 – 1 option remaining

Michael Stutes had a breakout 2011 where his 3.63 ERA helped stabilize a bullpen in flux.  However, even at his best Stutes was walking over 4 batters per 9 innings while giving up the occasional HR.  At the time Stutes’ fastball was averaging 93 mph, but now after two years of injury that number is down 2 mph, the control is not there and he is missing even fewer bats.  Overall I think you are left with a marginal reliever the Phillies are going to be unable to rely on.  MW: DFA Phillies: Keep

Sebastian Valle – Age 23 – 1 option remaining

For the past two offseasons we have discussed how Valle is young and how he has the potential to get better and actually produce on the baseball diamond.  In 2013 he actually did improve, his BB% was up to 5% and K rate dropped 23.2% and he hit .203/.245/.359 as the second catcher in AA.  I don’t think it is going to improve from there, and then you have to ask yourself, is Valle going to reach the majors and provide value before he is out of minor league options, I think that answer is no and therefore he should make room for someone who will.  MW: DFA Phillies: Keep

Tyson Gillies – Age 25 – 1 option remaining

I have been down on Gillies for a while now, and it stems from the fact that it is a borderline major league profile.  In major league games he is going to struggle to flash his power (swing related) and his walk rate is going to plummet.  The defense is still good and the speed is still plus to plus plus.  However, he struggles to stay on the field and has not always been the best citizens on and off the field.  In the end I don’t think it is an easy cut, but with the trust the Phillies have shown other OFers it easier to let Gillies go in favor of another upside guy.  MW: DFA Phillies: DFA

Zach Collier – Age 23 – 2 options related

Collier did not have a good season on the field as his K rate jumped 7%.  But otherwise Collier maintained a decent walk rate and power.  Collier has tools, in the form of 70 speed and sneaky power.  He is a true CFer defensively, and can play the other corners as well.  At this point the Phillies have a lot invested in Collier’s development and with two option years left, another team is near guaranteed to pick him up.  Collier likely gets another year to show some of his promise from the 2008 draft.  MW:  Keep Phillies: Keep

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

33 thoughts on “40 Man Roster Decisions – Part 1 – On the Roster

  1. Just a quick note, you have Stutes and Garcia walking 4 and 6 guys “per inning” as opposed to “per 9 innings”. And while at times it did feel like Garcia walked 180 guys over the course of the season, I don’t know that he was all that bad.

    1. Have you guys seen why garcia walks so many guys? His fastballs are all 2 seamers. I spoke to a couple of hitters and they are completely baffled bc they dont know where the heck the ball is goig to end up!!!

  2. I agree with what you think the Phillies would do, rather than what you think they should do on Stutes and Savery. If I’m betting on one going forward, it’s Stutes. I think you’re correct on Horst and Valle.

  3. I may be close to giving up on Valle, especially looking at his winter performance this year. He is regressing and now has been passed by Rupp and even an injured Joseph. Only 50-50 that someone would claim him if waived at this point as everyone wants to protect 40-man spots.

    1. I agree. He needs a change of scenery. I think it would help Valle to go to another organization and see if they can spark something in him. The Phils aren’t going to get what they need out of him. Win-Win to let him go.

  4. Only Aumont, Martin, and Rupp are names that they need to be especially careful about keeping. The rest are all interesting for various reasons, but not worth shedding a tear over if lost.

  5. I’m hopeful that Collier figures out how to stay on the field and show a little consistency but I just don’t think another team would claim him if dropped off the 40-man.

    1. I’m not sure that’s true, but if it is, if he isn’t good enough to be worth the final spot on any team’s 40-man, then it really doesn’t much matter what happens to him. Our farm is bad, but it’s not the worst — there likely are 9-12 teams with worse farms than us.

  6. I’m pulling for Collier and A. Hewitt too. But I’ll no longer waste my energy or have hope for Gillies. I follow him on Twitter and I don’t think he has the makeup to play in the majors. He’s right up there with DeSean Jackson in the annoying department with a touch of weird. I hope he proves me wrong but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

    1. fritz – ‘options’ refers to option-years, not option incidents. A player newly added to the 40-man then has three option years remaining – after that point the player must be exposed to waivers. I suspect Gillies was first added in 2011, leaving 1 ‘option’ year remaining.

      That’s my understanding – and it may not be perfectly explained but someone feel free to correct

      1. Steve you are close, to trigger an option year you have to actually be sent down. For example Galvis has an option remaining because he used one in 2011 and 2013, but in 2012 he was never sent to the minors (he was the active roster, DL, and restricted lists).

        1. Hmm, wasn’t my understanding Matt. I thought that a player used an option year merely by playing in the minors for a set number of days (30 days or something like that). This would also explain why Gillies has only one option year remaining despite never being sent down (or on the active roster). I could be wrong – but then how does Gillies have one one option remaining?

          1. See my other post, all members of the 40 man roster start the year on the active roster in spring training, they must be optioned down to minor league camp or to their minor league team (this applies even if they technically never step foot in big league camp). This is because members of the 40 man roster technically are signed to major league contracts

      1. We’re getting to the same result, but I’m interpreting the option year as expiring rather than being utilized due to automatic assignment when active roster are reduced ahead of OD. Been doing some reading; the CBA refers to the MLB Handbook on a number of occasions and I extracted the below from the handbook which speaks to the point where players would be exposed once their option years have been used.

        “Optional assignment waivers. Optional assignment waivers are required for
        an optional assignment from a Major League Club to a Minor League Club only if
        the date of assignment is three or more years after the date the player first reported
        to a Major League Club during a championship season. One year shall be
        deducted from the above three-year period for each season in which the player
        may have been charged with an option prior to the championship season in which
        the player first reports to a Major League Club”

        1. The difference being you can be finishing your 6th year in the minors and never have used an option, since the option occurs when you are sent down from the 40-man roster. So, if you were never added to the 40-man, then you can remain team property without ever using an option up until the point you become a minor league FA in your 7th season. To go this route, you would have been exposed to multiple Rule 5 drafts and not selected. At the end of your 6th year, the team owning your contract could decide to add you to the 40-man roster. You still have 3 options remaining.

  7. The question might be asked, vis-a-vis the writer and/or team; Where are the massive numbers of organizational whiz-bangs that would necessitate moving any of these players off of the roster?Especially since,I say, there is still some moves concerning roster reductions on the MLB roster, i.e. the non-tendering of John Mayberry Jr., and, I say, Kevin Frandsen, and maybe a few more I can’t recall offhand. I see but only a few which could be placed within the current vacant spots on the 40 man. As to MLB Free Agents, I believe they should wait till they sign somebody and then release as needed.

      1. I’ll be watching. There’s always a lot of players needing protection, but not that many necessary to protect. I was looking around for players that could be stretched to put on there and only seen a few. I guess tomorrow they’ll be more to look over.

    1. You may catch some flak for suggesting Frandsen but I for one totally agree with you. In a rebuilding situation this is an easy call to me. Let the older bench guy go and replace him with a young prospect.

  8. Rupp, Martin, Aumont are obvious keeps.
    Roseberg flashed enough at the end to stay. I think Savery did too, plus as a 1st rounder they’ll keep him.

    Valle is still a young catcher, too bad he was not traded last offseason. I think Phillies try to extract some value from him. He might actually be needed if Joseph is moved off C.
    Gillies has issues but still excellent tools. I think they give him another chance with the reworked power swing. If it works he can be a starter.
    Collier is my toughest call. I did not think his defense was as good as claimed in this post. I think he still profiles as a 4thOF but maybe since he has less issues than Gillies, Phillies keep Collier and send Gillies packing to save a roster spot.

    Stutes (2 opt years?) is my other interesting decision point. I really have no idea how he projects post injury, probably not enough upside (less than Schwimmer IMHO) to keep a spot for him. Phillies have plenty of fringe reliever types.
    Garcia is interesting, but no big loss if another team claims him, he was terrible in the majors.
    Horst (2 opt years?) was good for half a year. If another team wants him fine. Let him go.

    Will be interesting to see with Rule5 decisions, which have a much stricker requirement to be retained by another team, if the Phillies expose better talent to Rule5 than to DFA., e.g. Altherr vs. Collier?

  9. I’ve Watched Aumont pitch quite a few times both in Philly and Lehigh Valley. He does have good stuff but never seems able to control it for any length of time. Then there’s his stubborn streak as attested by his well-publicized resistance to improvements suggested by the pitching coaches. Aumont will never work for Philadelphia. He may benefit from a change in scenery.

    The catching situation? Kratz is likely to be traded or released. My money is on Ruiz signing elsewhere, probably Colorado, maybe Boston. I would rather see Rupp get the chance to be the starter than sign another washed-up overpriced veteran. Backup should be one of the journeyman catchers from the minors, Dalles or Stumpo or resign Suomi (free agent). Valle’s best value is as a trade piece. Tommy Joseph needs a lot of development yet. At the lower levels I like Chad Carman best. He looked like the best player in Lakewood early on, then he broke his hand and finished in Williamsport after recovering. I will be curious to see if he can recover his early 2013 form. Best of the rest, Josh Ludy and Gabriel Lino. 2nd round draft pick Andrew Knapp is likely out for the 2014 season recovering from off-season Tommy John surgery.

    1. Carman is an org catcher and not a prospect. Knapp will be back playing by late spring training (position player recovering time is about 6 months) Also Rupp is not a starter by any stretch of scouting imagination

      1. Does it matter if Rupp is a true starter at this point? Joseph is supposed to be a future starter and Valle used to be touted as a future starter. Rupp has outplayed both. Phils are two years at best in the rebuilding process, probably three. Why spend the $ on a Saltalamacchia or McCann when you aren’t going to contend? Don’t know if Carman is destined to be only an org catcher or not, just reporting what I saw with my own eyes. Knapp did not play well at all this past season (again personal observation). Lino got most of the starts until called up to Lakewood. Knapp mostly DH’d – and not very well.

        1. Knapp DH’d because of the elbow injury (he couldn’t throw).

          I wouldn’t say that Rupp has outplayed Joseph (certainly has outplayed Valle). Lets put aside BABIP for one minute and look at their underlying AAA numbers this year.

          Rupp: 5.2 BB% 28.4 K% .154 ISO
          Joseph: 5.6 BB% 20.8 K% .149 ISO

          Joseph had a .224 BABIP and Rupp had a .352 BABIP. Joseph got hurt during a bad slide and Rupp was a bit lucky. Also Rupp is 3 years older than Joseph.

          The only reason to start Rupp is if you are going to blow up everything and trade Lee, Brown, Utley, Rollins, and everything else not nailed down.

          The case against Carman is that while he has shown decent contact skills, he has shown little to no on base ability or power, playing as a 24 year old in low-A.

          1. I’m an old retired guy who gets around with a bunch of other old retired guys to see a lot of minor league games in Lakewood, Reading, Allentown and Williamsport, as well as going to CBP. We also get Lehigh Valley and Reading televised games. BABIP, etc. aside, I comment on what I see.

            (SS) Knapp couldn’t hit either. He actually was behind the plate for a few games in the beginning of the season. His defense was not impressive. He’s going to need a full year at every level to develop. Gabriel Lino was the best catcher Williamsport had last season, though he’s just a mediocre bat. Corey Bass got better behind the plate as the season progressed but needs work, and a lot of work on hitting skills.

            (A) Our games at Lakewood were early season. Carman impressed us all, despite what you are saying as the only one on the team who had an idea what a bat was for. In other words, his contact skills were coming around. Decent defense too. He had definitely improved over what we saw from him the prior year. Then he got hurt trying to bare-hand a throw and missed most of the season with a broken hand.

            (A+) We did not get to Florida, but have all seen Moore and Stumpo before. They are both org filler that may do as a backup someday.

            (AA) To me and my group of fellow travelers Rupp looks like the real deal. What your stats don’t tell you is how hard he plays. He (and Cody Asche) are Utley types. I wish I could find the article I read (Allentown paper I think) praising Rupp’s knowledge of the pitching staff and game-calling ability. Yet that’s supposedly the knock on him. When you remember he started at A+ level in ST, then moved to Reading, LV, then Philly, you have to consider he went through the learning curve with four different pitching staffs this year, five counting the AFL. That’s pretty impressive. I didn’t make the trip to Arizona this year, but those in our gang that did came back praising Rupp’s work ethic and skills.
            Tommy Joseph is a raw talent…very raw from what we saw before his injury. Our consensus was that he should have been in Clearwater, but being the centerpiece supposedly of the Hunter Pence trade….well, we drew our own conclusions, and yes Rupp did outplay him.

            (AAA) Suomi and Lerud are filler. Never saw a catcher at such an advanced level that had so many balls pop out of his glove as Lerud. Suomi is a journeyman who may be worthwhile re-signing as a backup. Valle just seems to have hit a development plateau. Didn’t look any better than the previous year and seems like an employee just showing up for work. If traded could be a MLB backup in year or so, but not Philadelphia.

            Regarding blowing up the team, are you under the impression that we’re only a player or two from contending in 2014? I don’t think the Phillies will be back in the playoffs until 2017. So you start the young guys. Let’s see what we have.

            Sorry for such a long post. New here, though an old fan. and thought I needed to explain where I’m coming from. Keep up the good work. I enjoy your posts.

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