The Phillies have settled their bench, and it’s great news for Brock Stassi and Daniel Nava.
Let’s talk about Daniel Nava, since I’m less excited about him. He hit .386 this spring, and was in competition with Jesmuel Valentin for that final roster spot right until the end. The three-run homer he hit in Wednesday night’s game might have made the decision a little easier, though. He’ll be available to play first base (though he probably won’t need to) and the corner outfield spots.
Here’s what you need to know about Brock Stassi making the team.
Brock Stassi, a 27-year-old former 33rd-round pick, has made the Phillies. “A dream come true,” he said, holding back tears.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) March 30, 2017
Stassi, emotional in the clubhouse upon making 25-man roster, said Mackanin greeted him in the meeting by asking what number he wanted.— Ben Harris (@byBenHarris) March 30, 2017
"I never doubted myself. Ever." - Brock Stassi pic.twitter.com/AjKUVJXk0j— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) March 30, 2017
NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING. SHUT UP.
So you probably want to know more. He hit .339 this spring and hit six home runs, which led the team. It felt like the Phillies really wanted Stassi on the team, and considering how he’s performed, it’s hard to blame him. He’ll be filling in for Tommy Joseph at first base when Joseph needs a day off, he’ll be a left handed bat off the bench, and he may even play a little outfield.
The Phillies drafted Stassi in 2011. They picked him in the 33rd round, and gave him a $1000 signing bonus. He’s had a long road to the majors, and his emotion at making the team is so, so touching.
Need to know more about Stassi? Here’s what our former fearless leader Charlie Manuel said about Stassi to Sam Donnellon of the Daily News.
"No knock on [James] Loney, but Stassi does everything better than Loney," said the former Phillies manager. "Across the board . . . Stassi knows how to play the game. Not only is he a very good defensive first baseman, he throws good and he's a good hitter. He can definitely get the big hit for you."
Charlie KNOWS hitting, so I trust him. I’m excited to see what Stassi does in the majors.
Of course, this means Jesmuel Valentin has been optioned to Triple-A. But we’ll see him this season, I’m sure of it. As for Tyler Goeddel?
The Phillies will DFA Tyler Goeddel to clear a 40-man roster spot for Brock Stassi. They could look to trade Goeddel in next few days.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) March 30, 2017
This... makes very little sense to me. They kept Goeddel in the majors for the entirety of last season and seemed keen on getting him at-bats in Double-A this year. Trading him seems like an enormous waste, which is exactly how I viewed the Alec Asher trade. But just like with the Asher trade, they have a lot of outfield options right now, and with no room for him in the upper levels, maybe Klentak wants to get some value for a guy who spent a year in the majors. Of course, he was just knocked down to Double-A, sooooooo.
We’re almost there, guys. Just 3 1⁄2 more days.