Less than a week remains until your Philadelphia Phillies open the season against the Cincinnati Reds, so this week I will make my best guess as to what that long awaited opening day roster will look like. First a look at the latest moves.
Latest Phillies Moves:
In waiting an extra day to post this feature we highlight the latest moves made to whittle down that roster:
Tyler Goeddel and Jake Thompson were both optioned to the minors. The MLB as well as the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs outfield is pretty filled up, thus Goeddel will go back to AA Reading Fightins so that he can play everyday. Last season he jumped up from AA to make the opening day roster, but was used mostly as a bench/fill in guy with only 213 AB’s in 92 games, 56 starts mostly in LF. His season ended with a HBP concussion on 9/21. Of course he will always be remembered by Phillies phans – especially by me as I had a perfect view of this “walk-off” double play from my usual perch in sec 423 – for this great throw.
Thompson made his MLB debut on 8/6 against the San Diego Padres, at the same time being inserted as a footnote in Phillies history by being 2,000th player appear in a game for the franchise. He is on the outside looking in at the big club’s rotation right now.
These moves freed up two spots on the 40 man roster bolstering the hopes of the non-roster invitees left in camp.
The team added to that non-roster list when LHP Hoby Milner, picked by the Cleveland Indians in last winter’s Rule 5 draft, was returned.
That non- roster list number fell right back on Sunday as LHP Sean Burnett was granted his unconditional release. There were already plenty of 40 man guys in the hunt for the last bullpen spots, but his contract stated that he needed to be placed on the MLB roster by Sunday, or be released upon his request.
The back up catcher competition was effectively ended when the Phillies released Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Like Burnett they had release clauses in their contracts that gave them an out if not on the 40 man by the end of the week. It has not been noted whether this was the case or the Phillies did this on their own.
This makes Andrew Knapp, 25, the back-up Catcher. It is doubtful they will carry three.
The club also optioned OF Roman Quinn and reassigned RHP Michael Mariot to MILB camp. As with Goeddel the Phillies need Quinn to play every day to further his development.
The Phillies have an amazingly young catching future as Cameron Rupp at age 28 will be the youngest Phillies opening day catcher since Mike Lieberthal , 27, in 1999. High prospect Jorge Alfaro is only 23.
There are now 35 players remaining in MLB camp (14 RHP, 4 LHP, 1 SHP, 2 C, 8 INF, 6 OF).
25 Man Projection:
Now for the hard part, except pretty much for the starting eight and the starting pitchers.
My stretches are the keeping of three non-roster players in Coghlan, Stassi, and Venditte, but I think they each impressed enough in camp to risk putting another 40 man guy on waivers. They have a ton of marginal pitchers there that could probably clear.
For our Opening Day edition I will see how close I came to the 25 man the Phils actually take north, as well as make my predictions for the season.
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Though I was born a few blocks from what was to be the NY Worlds Fair/Shea Stadium/Forrest Hills Complex, my parents saved me from being a NY fan by moving to Elkins Park in 1955, when I was 6 months old. I have been living and dying w/ Philly sports teams ever since. Now over 60 , I bring an older, but hopefully not stodgy, spin to this blog. By day I am a mild mannered controller/IT guy for a family business, but by night you will either find me @ CBP at least 17 games a season, and most other nights yelling at my tv as if they can hear me. Though I attend many other local sports, my main love has always been baseball, and my focus here is the Phillies, but I am also part of the team covering the Philadelphia Union.