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Bryson Stott makes the Opening Day roster

Now he has to play

New York Yankees v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

What once looked possible, then went from possible to probably, has now gone to definite. Bryson Stott has hit his way onto the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

After the way both Stott has hit and Alec Bohm has hit, there simply was no way the team was going to be able to keep Stott off of the roster. He’s been one of their hottest hitters this spring, carrying the momentum he had built last season into this March to make the team.

The trick now becomes where to play him. They aren’t going to bring him to Philadelphia to simply watch and pick the brains of the major league coaching staff. He’s going to play and possibly play often. It’ll be up to the manager to formulate a plan where all the players that need to get plate appearances are getting them, something easier said than done when considering how the roster is laid out.

The other trick is that now, the team needs to open up a 40-man roster spot. Usually, teams will place a player on the 60-day injured list to help clear up a spot, but there doesn’t seem to be an immediate candidate for that (Ryan Sherriff, maybe?). They also are going to want to hang onto as many pitchers as possible, what with the truncated spring training interrupting routines and leading to some injuries on the team. So, scanning the roster, the candidates for designation are:

  • Donny Sands: with J.T. Realmuto and Garrett Stubbs taking spots in the majors and Rafael Marchan slated to be a starter in Lehigh Valley, does the team want to use a 40-man spot on another catcher?
  • Damon Jones: he’s been pretty good this spring, but with Jose Alvarado making it back in time for games and Brad Hand available, Jones might be deemed expendable.
  • James McArthur: he hasn’t pitched much at all this spring, so the team could try and sneak him through, but as a pitcher who is able to act as depth, he might get snatched up and the team may not want to risk losing him.

There is also the possibility that recently acquired James Norwood, who left the team for personal reasons, heads to the restricted list to work on whatever he needs to work on. But of the players listed, it’ll be hard to give up any of these options. If it means Stott getting playing time in the majors though, it would be a good thing. So here’s to the team doing the right thing and getting Stott onto that initial roster.