Valentine’s Day is all about showing those you love the most how much they mean to you. In that spirit, here is the thing I like the most about every player on the Phillies’ 40-man roster.
I like how reliable Alvarez became last season. In a bullpen that was riddled with injuries and inconsistencies, he settled into one of the few arms that could be trusted.
I like that there is a very high probability that Victor Arano will pitch more innings in 2020 than he did in 2019.
My favorite thing about Jake Arrieta is that this is the last year of his contract. There’s nothing more to say. Please have a good season.
I really loved that one week when Jay Bruce hit all those home runs. That was a lot of fun. I also love how much of his salary the Mariners retained.
How could you not love his name? Say it out loud. Garrett Cleavinger. That’s a fun name to say.
I like the depth Austin Davis gives the Phillies. He will likely bounce between Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley, playing primarily with the Iron Pigs. But he can play at both levels.
Enyel De Los Santos
I like that Enyel De Los Santos is (hopefully) going to be healthy for the 2020 season.
I like that, even with his injury, Seranthony made progress in 2019 compared to 2018. I think that the new coaching staff will highly benefit him and I really like his potential for 2020.
I love that the Phillies have added Wheeler to the rotation this season because of the way that it affects Eflin. Rather than being the third starter, Eflin is now the fourth. The back end of the rotation is a much more realistic position for him to be in.
I like that Gamboa only made eight errors in 2019. In a season where he didn’t perform well at the plate, execution in the field was important.
I like the promise Edgar Garcia showed at the end of the 2019 season. I think with an improved pitching coach, 2020 could be a big step in the right direction for him.
There’s a lot to like about Didi Gregorius, but what I really like about him is that this is a “prove-it” year for him. After a disappointing 2019 (including time spent recovering from injury), he’s only signed for a single season. If he wants a big contract in 2021, he needs to produce in 2020. He’s going to be determined to perform well, both for his team and for himself.
I love that Deivy Grullon got MLB experience at the end of the 2019 season, even though he only played in a handful of games. He’s seen first-hand what it takes to be a catcher at the Major League level, and I think he’s going to be more determined to get there now that he’s seen the light at the end of the tunnel.
I like the Guerra signing as a depth-option. I like that he’s a low-risk addition.
There are a lot of things to love about Bryce Harper. Like, hundreds and hundreds of things. But the thing I love the most about Bryce Harper is that he chose the city of Philadelphia and he chose the Philadelphia Phillies. Bryce could have gone anywhere he wanted, but he wanted to play here. That means more, in my opinion, than anything else.
I really like how Haseley stepped into his role on the Big League team last season after McCutchen’s injury and never really faltered. It shows a lot of mental strength and both physical and psychological preparedness to make that transition so quickly and not fail, even a little bit. I’m looking forward to seeing him progress even more this season.
My absolute favorite thing about Rhys Hoskins is that he’s a Philly guy. Any time you see the team doing community outreach or welcoming a new player to the organization, Rhys is there. He’s a great teammate and an outstanding member of the community. I don’t think his dedication to the community is acknowledged or appreciated enough.
I feel like I’m going to say this about quite a few players, but I like that Tommy Hunter has a “prove-it” year ahead of him. He needs to stay healthy, perform well and prove they didn’t make a mistake bringing him back.
I love Cole Irvin’s nickname. Swirvin Irvin is a high-quality, unique nickname.
I love how flexible Kingery is. He can realistically play six different positions and can bat almost anywhere in the lineup. He’s the King of utility players.
I like that we know what we’re getting with Knapp as Realmuto’s backup. He’s been fairly consistent in the three years he’s been in the Majors, so unlike bringing in any new backup, the team has a decent idea of what they’re going to get from him in 2020.
You can’t spell “Llovera” without “Love” and I love puns. He also throws hard.
I like that Martini’s presence will add competition for the bench spots in 2020. I also like that even if he doesn’t make the opening day roster, he will be a quality option for replacement later in the season.
I like McClain’s minor league stats from 2019. And while his numbers with Seattle don’t look pretty upon first inspection, it’s important to take into consideration that his three worst appearances in 2019 were against the Astros, in Houston. Outside of Houston (including an appearance against the Astros in Seattle), McClain gave up just three earned runs in 18.0 innings.
I love Andrew McCutchen. There isn’t one thing that I love the most because I love everything about him.
Adonis is the god of desire so really Valentine’s Day was made for Adonis Medina. What do we all desire the most? An improved 2020 for Medina.
I like that Adam Morgan will (hopefully) be healthy for the 2020 season.
I love that Hector Neris keeps things interesting and makes close games even closer before getting the final out. It’s not as exciting if every win is really easy.
I love that every game Aaron Nola pitches is an opportunity to get a win. Even when he isn’t at his absolute best, he gives his team a legitimate chance to win. In 34 starts in 2019 he only gave up five or more earned runs seven times.
The thing I love the most about Nick Pivetta is that he’s in the best shape of his life and is primed for a breakout year.
I like that there’s a new medical staff in 2020 who can hopefully shed light on Roman Quinn’s inability to stay healthy. If he can stay off the Injured List, Quinn is a great bench option.
What don’t I love about J.T. Realmuto? I don’t love that he hasn’t signed a contract extension yet. Other than that, I love everything.
I like that there is still a possibility that Robertson will be a late-season addition to the active roster. It’s highly unlikely that he will return, but I like that there is still a possibility. If the Phillies are competing for a playoff spot and he is available to come back, he could be a huge addition.
I like JoJo Romero’s Arizona Fall League outing. While it was a very small sample size, I like that he did have good performances in Scottsdale.
I like that his numbers for the 2019 season are overall promising. I also like that he’s a low-risk addition to the Phillies organization. I’m excited to see him pitch this season.
I like that Jean Segura has spent a lot of this winter getting into really good shape. I like that he’s going to be moved to second base this season. And I like that he makes contact with the ball as often as he does.
I like that he can throw close to 100 MPH.
I like the duality of Suarez. He provides depth to both the starting rotation and the bullpen.
I like that Velazquez is willing to do whatever the team needs, without public complaint. Starting pitcher? Sure. Reliever? Okay. Left fielder? Why not? Vince Velazquez is willing to do it all.
I really like that Zack Wheeler chose to sign with the Phillies over the Mets. Is this a little petty of me to be so happy that the Mets lost one of their starters to the Phillies? Yes. But sometimes you have to be petty.
I like that Nick Williams has a good public attitude. He could have easily turned on the organization last season when he was optioned to Lehigh Valley. He could have requested a trade or gotten frustrated that he was the odd man out in the outfield. Instead ,he played well for the Iron Pigs and is still a valuable asset to the organization.