About a month ago, we gave our initial roster projection for what the 2021 Phillies would look like.
It was grim.
They hadn’t signed many free agents yet and looked to be toeing the waters of free agency, as wary of the prices of players as one might be heading into a pool 30 minutes after eating a meal. However, now that the dust has mostly settled on the team’s spending spree, we have a pretty good idea about what Joe Girardi will have to work with once the season starts. With that in mind, let’s take another crack at the roster before the first day of spring training workouts begin.
J.T. Realmuto, Andrew Knapp
It’s truly amazing what the addition of Realmuto back to this roster does for the overall outlook of the team. No harm intended, but the potential duo of Knapp and Rafael Marchan just wasn’t going to scare anyone offensively or defensively.
Now, with the best catcher in baseball back in the fold, this position becomes a little deeper. If something were to happen to either of these two, at least there is a tiny bit of serviceable depth there. One obviously doesn’t want to go too long without the services of Realmuto, but Marchan can at least hang in the majors for a week to ten days.
Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, Didi Gregorius, Alec Bohm, Brad Miller, C.J. Chatham
Yet again, the obvious move of adding Gregorius makes this lineup so much better.
We aren’t sure yet just where the team plans on deploying Miller most often, whether it be the infield or the outfield, so we’ll just add him here for now. Either way, this is a starting quartet that can hang with just about anyone in the division as a whole. An injury or two would be a significant blow to this team, but at least Miller is here as quality depth as well, something that Dave Dombrowski and Sam Fuld have clearly banked on adding this offseason. Once 40-man cuts are needed, Chatham could find himself an unfortunate casualty, but for now, we see him making the initial cut.
Andrew McCutchen, Scott Kingery, Bryce Harper, Roman Quinn, Adam Haseley
This is where the biggest addition could be.
It looks like the team is going with Kingery as their regular centerfielder, or at least as the right-handed side of a platoon. What will be interesting to see is what happens with Quinn. As of today, we haven’t seen anything about an official Miller signing. That’s because he will require someone coming off of the 40-man roster. With the likelihood that pitching will be at a premium this season, it makes more sense for the team to cut a bat. With Chatham providing a backup utility option in the infield, someone like Quinn or Mickey Moniak could see a designation for assignment soon. Either that or a trade could be in the offing. It’ll be interesting to see which direction the team heads in.
Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore
In the last version of this projection, we had Spencer Howard penciled in as the fifth starter. The team’s activity in adding pitchers makes that projection extremely unlikely to begin the season, though injuries would easily change that equation. For now, barring a six-man rotation being used to begin the season or spring performances that change the minds of the coaching staff, it looks like these five starters will be the rotation members.
Hector Neris, Jose Alvarado, Conner Brogdon, Archie Bradley, Jojo Romero, David Hale, Brandon Kintzler, Chase Anderson
The bullpen might be the toughest to figure out right now because we don’t know what direction Girardi is heading. Is he looking for guys to handle bulk innings like Anderson and Ranger Suarez? Does he think his rotation will be able to deliver innings, therefore necessitating for middle relief options? This will be one of the more closely watched issues as spring training progresses. How does Girardi plan on handling his pitching staff and all the questions that come with it. For now, we see Suarez being stretched out as a starter in the minors, being a short phone call away. A good spring by him could change some minds soon though.
Some names that aren’t here are Sam Coonrod, Ramon Rosso, and the non-roster invitees Hector Rondon and Neftali Feliz. While they might play a big part in the season eventually, the contract given to Kintzler makes it a little more likely he makes it over the other NRIs. Anderson will probably be stretched out as well. Hale might be most in danger of being cut/released this spring.
It promises to be an interesting spring training for the team. Barring a trade or a surprise release by the organization, this is what we think will happen heading into April. A lot can happen in the coming weeks though, so we’ll keep track of it all here.