The Phillies are 9-10-1 through 20 Grapefruit League games. Injuries to key players are still a concern, but the Phillies must make some important personnel and roster decisions this week. With only eight Grapefruit League games remaining and ten days until their season opener, these decisions and the resultant playing time meted out will finally give us an idea of the likely opening day roster.
The primary decision this week involves players who are eligible to opt out if the Phillies don’t put them on the 26-man roster. Those players are covered by Article XX, paragraph B(5)(d)(i)
If a Club signs a Player who became a free agent pursuant to this Article XX(B) to a Minor League Uniform Player Contract between the date the Player became a free agent as set forth in subsection B(2)(a) above and ten days prior to the commencement of the next succeeding championship season, the Club shall pay the Player a retention bonus of $100,000 if, by 12 P.M. Eastern Time on the fifth day prior to the first day of the championship season,
(i) the Club does not agree in writing to add the Player to its Opening Day 25-man roster or Major League Disabled List at the commencement of the championship season, or
(ii) the Club does not provide the Player with his immediate unconditional release.
The players must qualify with service time (six years) and have been on a major league roster or major league Injured List at the end of the season. Those qualifying players are –
- Matt Joyce (11.123 service time, Miami))
- Brandon Kintzler (9.003, Miami)
- Tony Watson (9.101, San Francisco)
- Jeff Mathis (14.012, Texas)
- Ivan Nova (10.024, Detroit)
- Hector Rondon (8.000, Arizona)
Neftali Feliz (7.129 service time) last played in the major leagues in 2017 and therefore doesn’t qualify. He has only just arrived in camp after visa problems. (note: Simon Muzziotti has also just arrived.)
A player who receives a retention bonus may require that the Phillies place him on the 26-man roster by June 1st. The player and team can agree to a higher retention bonus or an opt-out date earlier than June 1st as provided in Article XX, paragraph B(5)(d)(v).
The Phillies have optioned 3 more players to the Mini Camp. They posted the actual transactions as the Alternate Training Site. The 3 players are – Christopher Sanchez, Nick Maton, and CJ Chatham. They join 7 other 40-man roster players who were optioned last weekend at the Alternate Training Site – Mauricio Llovera, Bailey Falter, Damon Jones, Francisco Morales, Adonis Medina, Kyle Dohy, and Simon Muzzotti.
There are still 21 NRIs from within the organization in Mini Camp. The Phillies have extended invitations to campers to be on the game day rosters. To date, 228 players were on game day rosters, 145 got into games. This group included Tyler Carr, EDLS, Julian Garcia, JD Hammer, Jonathan Hennigan, Jake Hernandez, Erik Miller, David Parkinson, David Paulino, Zach Warren, Rodolfo Duran, Edgar Cabral, Logan O’Hoppe, Luis Garcia, Darick Hall, Bryson Stott, Luke Williams, Odubel Herrera, Jhailyn Ortiz, Johan Rojas, and Matt Vierling. Injuries prevented Miller from seeing any time in games and limited Ortiz to 4 appearances, none after March 4th.
Other than Odubel Herrera, none of these guys was expected to play themselves “into the mix” for a roster spot. Herrera has. EDLS certainly raised his stock this spring. Warren may have helped himself with a bases loaded strike out Sunday. Hall should receive some benefit from his play. All gained valuable experience in major league games.
In addition to the seven FA NRIs mentioned above Michael Ynoa, Christian Bethancourt, Ronald Torreyes, and Travis Jankowski await their fates. Lehigh Valley seems to be in their future. Maybe…
The elephant in the room is the injured list. Girardi tells us that he/they expect everyone to be ready on opening day. But, he is also the same guy telling us that a handful of guys are “in the mix” for center field. Clearly, that did not ever include Mickey Moniak. It was ludicrous for any beat writer to accept that as truth. So, how much do we accept as opening day draws near?
JT Realmuto was scratched from a DH role on Sunday for “general soreness”. I think it more likely that they didn’t want him to take three well-spaced at bats on a particularly cold day in Clearwater. Why risk his thumb in such conditions. (It didn’t reach 60 degrees, and was overcast and windy.)
Still, ten days from opening day, Realmuto has not seen game action. Andrew Knapp can hold down the starter’s role for a while, but the only other catcher on the active roster, Rafael Marchan, has played since February 28th due to his own injury (thigh, I think).
Rhys Hoskins is still trying to play himself back into game shape. He has 3 hits in 22 at bats, 2 walks, and 8 strike outs to go with one HR. His backup is Alec Bohm since Brad Miller is suffering from his own injury. He hasn’t played since March 11th.
Jean Segura is only hitting .200, but he’s putting the ball in play and hitting it hard. He has 4 walks and 4 Ks in 25 at bats.
Didi Gregorius is below Mendoza and took a ball to the back or helmet over the weekend.
Alec Bohm is hitting the ball well. He’s fielding well. Nothing to worry about here.
Scott Kingery, the presumptive backup to Segura, Gregorius, and Bohm is struggling. An option to the Alternate Training Site seems possible. If it happens, then Chatham or Maton could be recalled. However, I think Girardi would be more comfortable with Torreyes. He started at SS on Sunday. I know that requires another 40-man move, but …
McCutchen looks ready to go. Harper, not so much. His strike out rate is a little worrisome.
Centerfield is supposedly up for grabs. I think it was Kingery’s for the taking with a platoon with Haseley. Kingery’s poor spring and Haseley’s injury put an end to that. I think the job will go to Quinn. I can’t picture the Phillies giving the job to Herrera. Anyway, I think Quinn has won the job outright. Sending Herrera to the Alternate Training Site saves a 40-man move.
Matt Joyce has certainly secured a spot on the active roster. There’s a 40-man move.
The rotation, once a strength, has some questions. Nola, Wheeler, Moore, and Anderson still remain locks. But injuries to Eflin, Velasquez, and Howard not only create an opening but wipe out our supposed depth.
The bullpen looks fine. Alvarado, Bradley, and Neris are locks. Brogdon was a lock, but his rib thing and the long layoff between appearances left him rusty Saturday. Hopefully, he’ll be fine. If Velasquez and Howard are out of the starter competition (due to injury), they are also not available to relieve. So, that leaves Coonrod, Hale, Romero, Rosso, Kintzler, Watson, Mitchell, Rondon, Nova, and Ynoa competing for 4 spots. The first six probably have the inside track. Kintzler and Watson would require 2more 40-man moves.
So, later this week when the Phillies make and announce their decisions regarding their six FA NRIs, or more likely when we hear stuff through the rumor mill, we’ll have a very good idea what the 26-man roster will look like.
I don’t think we can count on trades to ease our 40-man roster plight. Most teams will face similar tough decisions. Teams will likely be able to pick up players for nothing through waivers.
And, I don’t know why we would trade Velasquez. If anything, we should realize that major league ready pitching will be at a premium this season. You don’t trade one away when you’re experiencing injuries in spring training.
We’ll likely see the same types of trades we saw earlier – waiver claims accepting cash to butt the line.
It’s no longer early.
The Phillies’ running payroll is still $186,909,462.
The Phillies’ salary against the competitive balance tax is still $198,272,282.
The Phillies’ margin under the CBT threshold of $210M is still $11,727,718. (see spreadsheet)
This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.
I didn’t review comments until Sunday. No name calling. Call someone a doofus again and you will be banned. Goes for everyone.
- March 24, 2021 – Opt out date for Brandon Kintzler, et alia
- 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 March 7th … 337 players in the org
3/16/2021 – Phillies optioned Christopher Sanchez to Alt Training Site
3/16/2021 – Phillies optioned Nick Maton to Alt Training Site
3/16/2021 – Phillies optioned CJ Chatham to Alt Training Site
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Kyle Dohy to Alt Training Site
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Bailey Falter to Alt Training Site
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Damon Jones to Alt Training Site
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Mauricio Llovera to Alt Training Site
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Adonis Medina to Alt Training Site
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Fransisco Morales to Alt Training Site
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Simon Muzziotti to Alternate Training Site
2/23/2021 – Phillies released RHP Jose Conopoima
2/22/2021 – SS Luis Garcia assigned to Phillies
2/17/2021 – Phillies placed RHP Seranthony Dominguez on the 60-day IL
I saw all the 2008 Phillies talk. Another thing to consider was how fortunate they were with their starting pitching. They may not have been a bunch of big names, but they were very capable. The Phillies only used SEVEN starters during the season.
- Cole Hamels (14-10, 3.09) and Jamie Moyer (16-7, 3.71) made 33 starts each.
- Brett Myers (10-13, 4.55) and Kyle Kendrick (11-9, 5.49) made 30 starts each.
- Adam Eaton (4-8,5.80) made 19 starts but didn’t appear in a game after July 27th.
- Joe Blanton (4-0,4.20) made 13 starts.
- Rookie JA Happ (1-0, 3.69) made 4 starts – 2 during a call up in July and 2 in September.
In addition, I’ll never forget Pat Burrell’s contribution – 33 HR, 86 RBI, and 102 BB and 136 K in 645 AB. And his almost game-winning HR in game five.
Plus, Jayson Werth’s reckless abandon on the base paths in September(7 for 7, 20 for 21 on the season).