Tuesday, the Phillies start a two-game series in Canada against the Toronto Blue Jays. Canada still has travel restrictions in place that prevent unvaccinated people from entering their country. It will be interesting to see who among the Phillies’ active roster cannot make the trip.
MLB does not require players on the 40-man roster to be vaccinated. Individual organizations put requirements in place that minor leaguers had to be vaccinated. The Phillies, after toying with the idea, opted to not require vaccinations for their minor leaguers.
It is my understanding that there are no restrictions as to who can be selected from the minors to play in Canada other than the player must be vaccinated. The major league player loses pay and service time for the days in Canada if he is not vaccinated. The minor league player who replaces him gets pay and service time but it does not count as an option as long as he returns to the minors when the team returns to the US.
As fans, we have no way of knowing for sure which players are not vaccinated. But, we can make an educated guess based on reports, transactions, and even social media.
We know that Kyle Gibson is not vaccinated because of a recent report that he has a condition whose medication precludes him from getting vaccinated. The Phillies worked their recent rotation around this and can now bring an extra reliever (or bench player) to Canada in his place.
Now, let’s speculate. Without naming names, I would guess that the Phillies might have as many as half their active roster who might be unvaccinated. Hopefully, that estimate is too high. A breakdown by position might be – one of 2 catchers, 2 of 3 starting pitchers, 4 of 10 relievers, 3 of 6 infielders, and 3 of 5 outfielders.
So, here’s the fun part, who do we bring to Toronto.
Catcher – Donny Sands and Rafael Marchan would just be bench depth, I like Sands in a possible pinch-hitting role.
SP – Which SP in the organization would you pick to pitch Tuesday? I don’t think the Phillies would go as deep as Jersey Shore, and “they” both pitched this weekend. Plassmeyer was effective but he just threw on the weekend. As did McKinley Moore on the 8th. Maybe just go with relievers and throw a bullpen game on Tuesday? I’m not even 50% sure that Falter is vaccinated.
RP – Now, we might need 6 instead of four. If vaccinated, how about Morales, Sullivan, Hennigan, Emanuel, Romero (if ready), Duron, Hernandez, Gomez, Miller, Zarbnisky. Pick up to six.
Infield – Johan Camargo (if ready), Dalton Guthrie, Kingery(?), Wendell Rijo
Outfield – Strip Reading. Simon Muzziotti, Johan Rojas, Jhailyn Ortiz.
Just spit ballin’. Hopefully, there are very few unvaccinated players. Although, leaving Familia in quarantine in Canada wouldn’t be the end of the world. Just kidding.
It would be a shame if we looked back on this series as one that affected the Phils’ playoff and seeding chances. But, as of right now, the Phillies are in the playoff mix.
They are on a pace to win 85-86 games by my count. They need to win series, especially against division foes, against whom they are a woeful 15-19 (NYM 3-9, ATL 3-4, MIA 3-4, WAS 6-2).
The Phillies are currently in the third wild card race, a spot that will likely play the NL Central Division winner. They are one game ahead of the Cardinals, 2 games ahead of the Giants, and 4 games ahead of the Marlins. The Rockies and Diamondbacks are further back, trailing by 8 games.
MLB has replaced tie-breaking playoff games with a set of tie-breaking criteria.
- Head-to-head record
- Intradivision winning percentage
- Interdivision winning percentage
- Best record in the final 81 intraleague games of the season
- Best record in the final 82 intraleague games of the season (provided the game added is not between the tied teams), and continue one game back until the tie is broken
- Coin toss?
The Phillies have already won head-to-head against Milwaukee (4-2), St. Louis (4-2 with one game to play), Los Angeles (4-3), San Diego (4-3), and Colorado (5-2).
They are ahead of Arizona (2-1 with 3 to play) and Washington (6-2 with 11 to play).
They trail New York (3-9 with 7 to play), Atlanta (3-4 with 12 to play), Miami (3-4 with 12 to play), and SanFrancisco (1-2 with 3 to play).
They have 7 games each against the Pirates and Reds, and 6 against the Cubs.
Other than the 2 games against Toronto this week, they have a 2-game series against the Blue Jays in September and close the season with 3 games in Houston.
As mentioned above, the Phillies division record is 15-19. Their record against the other NL divisions is 24-15. Their interleague record, which doesn’t matter in tie-breakers, is 7-6.
Just some thoughts over the weekend. If nothing else, this gives you a place to talk about the Phillies.