Earlier this offseason, the Phillies decided to cut ties with infielders Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez. This came as a surprise to many fans for various reasons. For one, both players held starting positions on the team for a rather large portion of last season, and the seasons prior. They were two of the longest tenured members of the team, and for good reason.
Hernandez was a switch-hitter who could hit at the top of the order, and Franco was a fan favorite who showed great glove work at the hot corner. In my opinion, he was a very undervalued defender at the position (3rd Base). The rest of 2019 Opening Day lineup is still in the organization. With that being said, not everyone on the lineup card is on the 40 Man Roster…
This past week, the Phillies DFA’d another long tenured Phillie, Center Fielder Odubel Herrera. We could go on for hours about the baggage that comes with the former Rule 5 selection, but for the sake of this article (and for the good of mankind), we are going to put this issue behind us. Herrera is still a member of the team and could potentially spell a younger player for a job if he plays well in Spring Training. The whole ordeal poses an interesting question, that being “Who will make up the Phillies 26 man roster come time for Opening Day in Miami?”
For part one of this article, we are going to be focusing on position players specifically. Let’s dive right in.
Note: Starters are in BOLD
– Deivy Grullon
– Andrew Knapp (S)
– J.T. Realmuto
– Didi Gregorius (L)
– Josh Harrison
– Rhys Hoskins
– Scott Kingery
– Jean Segura
– Jay Bruce (L)
– Bryce Harper (L)
– Adam Haseley (L)
– Andrew McCutchen
– Roman Quinn (S)
In total, there are 13 position players. The first thing you may notice is that we are carrying three catchers and only five infielders. Although this may lead to some problems late in the game with different matchups, it would allow Girardi to have an extra weapon to work with out of the bullpen.
Despite having just five infielders with this current roster construction, there are a number of players who are versatile and can play multiple positions. For example, both J.T. Realmuto and Andrew Knapp have the ability to play 1st Base as Catchers. Outfielder Jay Bruce also has experience playing 1st base. This would allow Rhys Hoskins to get a day off against a tough matchup if need be.
Last but not least, carrying five outfielders on the roster will allow the likes of Andrew McCutchen and Roman Quinn to get a day off if and when need be. Both suffered major injuries within recent years. In fact, four of the five outfielders on the projected roster, excluding Bryce Harper, spent time on the injured list last season. It may be wise to carry an extra outfielder.
It appears the major moves the Phillies have made this off-season have already taken place. If anything, I could see the team adding an extra arm out of the bullpen on a minor-league deal or an extra bat off the bench.
Someone I believe the Phillies should look into resigning is utility man Brad Miller. He was well liked around the clubhouse, and he may offer more with the bat than minor-league invitee Josh Harrison. If the Phillies are indeed done making moves, these are the group opposition players I would put on roster to start the season.
Be on the lookout for part two, which will focus on the pitching staff later this week. Stay tuned!