The Grapefruit League began on Sunday. The outcome was a dismal loss. More on that later.
No change to the Phillies’ running payroll of $188,159,462. (Twenty 20 players under contract, including Seranthony, plus an estimate for the seven pre-arbitration players under team control with 0-3 years experience (estimated at the league minimum $570,500).
No change to the Phillies’ salary against the competitive balance tax of $198,272,282, includes estimates for the rest of the 40-man roster ($2.25M) and player benefits ($15.5M).
No change to the Phillies’ margin under the CBT threshold of $210M, $11,727,718. (see spreadsheet)
My estimates are likely low. Some of the 7 players who don’t have salaries yet will undoubtedly make more than the league minimum. And, a couple players are likely to be replaced by a couple of NRIs. Brandon Kintzler and Tony Watson receive $3M each if they make the major league roster. Ivan Nova, Hector Rondon, and Matt Joyce would receive $1.5M. Depending on who makes it and who gets optioned or worse, the payroll and CBT could go up by as little as around $1M or as much as $2.5M to $5M.
As I reported last week, Luis Garcia arrived in Clearwater. His addition to the Phillies’ roster was the only transaction last week. He was among a bunch of Mini Campers who took the bus to Lakeland for the spring opener. Others were – Tyler Carr, EDLS, Julian Garcia, JD Hammer, Jonathan Hennigan, Jake Hernandez, Edgar Cabral, Darick Hall, Bryson Stott, Lucas Williams, Jhailyn Ortiz, and Johan Rojas.
In Sunday’s game, Adam Haseley opened the scoring when he homered on the second pitch of the game. That good feeling was quickly erased when Ivan Nova came to the early realization that second division hitters in the major leagues are way better than the competition he faced in the Dominican Winter League. Only two of the 6 batters he faced played in as many as 15 games in 2020.
Manager Joe Girardi followed with what I considered a questionable move, bringing in a young pitcher to face a bases-loaded situation. The result was easily anticipated. The young pitcher couldn’t throw a strike. It’s just a spring game, but I think he had better, veteran options instead of a kid who pitched in AA in 2019.
The Phillies lineup and substitutions were made up of a collection of players who are most likely to start the season in Allentown. Only Alec Bohm and Adam Haseley are likely to be on the 26-man roster. The young Phillies managed 2 runs on 4 hits (Haseley’s first inning blast, A hard it double by Mickey Moniak, and singles by CJ Chatham and Jeff Mathis) and 2 walks (Haseley and Darick Hall). Nine different Phillies struck out, none twice.
Nova and Jonathan Hennigan were wild in the first inning, issuing 5 walks and only recording 2 outs. David Hale gave up a run in one inning on 2 hits and a walk. Bryan Mitchell threw two strong innings allowing one hit and striking out three. EDLS gave up a solo HR among 2 hits but struck out three in one inning. Hammer gave up 2 runs on 2 hits (including a HR) and 3 walks in 0.2 of an inning. Tyler Carr recorded the final out getting a strikeout on 4 pitches, all strikes. In total, the Phillies’ staff walked 9 and struck out ten.
Ten of the 13 mini campers who made the trip got into the game, Hall started at first base. Only Cabral, Julian Garcia, and Hernandez were spared.
To add to the humiliation, the first inning ended when Girardi rolled the inning. This is a “B” game or XST game practice to save pitchers’ arms. It is almost always done by AL affiliates, most notably the Blue Jays. They often roll an inning when a pitcher gets in trouble and has thrown “too many” pitches. Sometimes we’ve seen them send the same pitcher to begin the next inning.
In reality, it is a good practice that protects pitchers. Yes, it’s frustrating for fans when their team has a rally going. That’s why there was booing as the Phillies left the field. However, in these practice games, the health of the players is paramount.
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- February 28, 2021 – First spring training game @ Tigers
- March 1, 2021 – First home spring training game v. Orioles
- March 24, 2021 – Opt out date for Brandon Kintzler
- April 1, 2021 – Phillies’ home opener v. Braves
- April 2021 – ST for Double-A and Single-A begins
- May 2021 – Opening day for Double-A and Single-A
- June 25, 2021 – Close of the 2020 international signing period
- July 11-13, 2021 – 2021 Amateur Draft
- October 2, 2021 – Phillies clinch a playoff berth in Miami
The rosters and lists are up to date as of February 28th … 338 players in the org
2/22/2021 – SS Luis Garcia assigned to Phillies
2/17/2021 – Phillies placed RHP Seranthony Dominguez on the 60-day IL
2/17/2021 – LHP Tony Watson assigned to Lehigh Valley
2/17/2021 – Phillies signed FA LHP Tony Watson to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
2/17/2021 – Phillies signed FA SS Brad Miller
2/16/2021 – RHP David Paulino assigned to Phillies
2/16/2021 – C Jeff Mathis assigned to Lehigh Valley
2/16/2021 – Phillies signed FA C Jeff Mathis to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST