Phillies’ roster mostly in place but several camp battles will be entertaining

With eight beginning place gamers, 4 beginning pitchers, seven relievers and maybe all of their bench bats set in their roles, the Phillies have a greater concept than most groups about their season-opening roster.

Obviously, accidents in camp might change the scenario, but as many as 23 of 26 spots seem to be locked up with a month to go earlier than pitchers and catchers report back to Clearwater.

Rhys Hoskins, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, Alec Bohm and JT Realmuto make up the beginning infield.

Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh and Nick Castellanos are the beginning outfielders with Bryce Harper anticipated to be sidelined till across the All-Star break recovering from Tommy John surgical procedure.

Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez and Taijuan Walker will make up four-fifths of the rotation.

Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto, Matt Strahm, Connor Brogdon and Andrew Bellatti will occupy seven of the eight or 9 bullpen spots.

Utilityman Edmundo Sosa and backup catcher Garrett Stubbs are shoe-ins for the bench.

Kody Clemens, acquired with Soto from the Tigers in the commerce that despatched Matt Vierling and Nick Maton to Detroit, has a great shot to crack the opening-day bench as effectively. After that deal, Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski cited Clemens’ capacity to fill the utility position Maton served. The 26-year-old, left-handed-hitting Clemens performed first, second, third and left subject in the majors final season.

Dalton Guthrie additionally appears more likely to make the workforce. He appeared in 14 video games late final season for the Phils, going 7 for 21 with a homer and 5 RBI. His right-handed bat will be mandatory with a lot of the Phillies’ bench gamers or candidates (Stubbs, Clemens, Jake Cave, Darick Hall, Simon Muzziotti) hitting from the left facet. Scott Kingery can also be nonetheless in the group with the 2023 season the ultimate assured 12 months of the six-year, $24 million contract he signed previous to 2018.

“I’ve plenty of confidence in Dalton Guthrie, I actually do,” supervisor Rob Thomson stated this week. “I really feel actually good about our stability in our utility gamers.”

Biggest battle to observe

The battle for the fifth starter figures to be probably the most attention-grabbing and entertaining of the Phillies camp. Top prospect Andrew Painter, nonetheless a teen till April 10, will reside for the spot with lefties Bailey Falter and Christopher Sanchez. Another lefty, Michael Plassmeyer, pitched effectively in 16 begins with Triple A Lehigh Valley final season (2.85 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) and is on the 40-man roster. Painter just isn’t but on 40, who’s fellow pitching prospect Griff McGarry, but that might change if one pitches effectively sufficient in Florida to win the rotation opening.

Painter is not simply the Phillies’ prime prospect, he was ranked the fifth-best prospect in the game Tuesday by Baseball America.

“He overpowered the competitors at three stops with a tantalizing mix of stuff, poise and command,” Baseball America wrote. “In doing so, he joined Chad Billingsley, Forrest Whitley, Zack Greinke, Dylan Bundy and Clayton Kershaw as the one prep pitchers since 2006 to achieve Double-A in their first season after the draft 12 months.”

Painter pitched 103⅔ innings final 12 months in his first full professional season, a promising quantity that might higher put together him for the take a look at of beginning each fifth day.

“If he breaks camp with us, he must pitch and he must have a reasonably good pitch rely to do this so we’re not placing a toll on the bullpen,” Thomson stated. “We’ll ramp him up fairly usually.”

DH obligation

While Schwarber, Marsh and Castellanos will be the first outfielders till Harper returns, each nook guys will spend time because the designated hitter. Against left-handed beginning pitchers, the Phillies will use Castellanos, Hoskins, Schwarber, Bohm or Realmuto because the DH on any given night time with a reserve like Sosa, Stubbs or Guthrie taking part in the sector.

Against a right-handed beginning pitcher, Hall figures to see loads of reps as the first DH. He made an impression offensively as a rookie final summer time, hitting .250 with eight doubles, a triple and 9 house runs in simply 142 plate appearances. He struck out 44 occasions with solely 5 walks but the facility in opposition to right-handed pitching can’t be ignored.

“He has the potential to interrupt camp with us, relying on how every little thing else breaks down, Thomson stated. “He did such an ideal job with Harp out final 12 months which you can’t simply throw him to the facet. He’s in the combination, for positive.”

Relief competitors

Pitchers in play for that last spot or two in the bullpen embody Nick Nelson, Yunior Marte, Sam Coonrod, Luis Ortiz, Andrew Vasquez, Erich Uelmen and prospects Francisco Morales and Andrew Baker.

Marte, Ortiz and Vasquez have been all acquired from the Giants this offseason. Uelmen came visiting from the Cubs. All but Morales and Baker are on the 40-man roster.

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