Phillies General Manager, Matt Klentak, held a short presser over Zoom on Monday afternoon — which I was lucky enough to attend.
In his opening statement, Klentak wished us all well, and said he was “happy to see everyone.” A genuinely kind remark from a genuinely kind guy.
He went on to detail the proceedings of the last few weeks, and mentioned that a majority of the team had already passed their “intake screenings,” and that the remainder of the non-infected players would be taking said screenings throughout today.
Klentak then addressed the fact that right-hander, Anthony Swarzak, was not included in the Phillies’ 60-man player pool that was released last night. This was due to his contract being re-negotiated, and Swarzak is set to be re-signed soon, and then added to the 60-man.
The floor was then opened up for questions, and, upon being asked about the players “opting out” of the season due to COVID concerns, Matt swiftly replied that he has not heard from any player in respect to an opt-out, nor does he expect to.
We’ve seen three players announce that they are stepping away from baseball in 2020: Arizona starter Mike Leake, as well as Washington’s Joe Ross, AND Ryan Zimmerman.
To know (tentatively) that the Phillies will be fully-stocked this season is a MAJOR plus. Fingers crossed it stays that way.
On the topic of the 60-man player pool, Klentak spoke about Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm, saying that he expects both to make an impact with the Big Club in 2020 — but, specifically in reference to Howard, Matt said he “doesn’t want to push [Spencer] too hard,” due to concerns the Phillies had with his workload.
Klentak then touched on a few players’ specific situations:
- Andrew McCutchen is 100% cleared and ready to play.
- Zack Wheeler will take time off to be present at the birth of his newborn baby, but does not anticipate he will take an “extended” absence.
- Odubel Herrera was, and still is, in consideration for the Phillies 60-man pool.
Klentak was then asked about progress on a JT Realmuto extension, to which he responded vaguely, ultimately stating that it was “too soon to tell” if the two parties were close on a deal.
Matt closed things out by saying that he thinks the Phillies have compiled a great team here — and they’ll do their darnedest to field the best team possible during this 60-game sprint.
In all, it was a brief, but exciting presser — that ultimately boils down to one thing...
Baseball is back, folks.