Phillies

Meeting the Phillies MiLB Free Agent Additions

The year is 2010. The Phillies are coming off a huge off-season where they have signed 3rd Baseman Placido Polanco and acquired front line starter Roy Halladay. 10 years down the road, this same team had a very similar winter.

Now, did the front office acquire a former Cy Young Award winner? No. However, they did make two large transactions which improved 2 areas of need on the roster. These areas being the starting rotation and, indirectly, 3rd Base. Right Handed Starter Zack Wheeler will serve as an immediate upgrade in the rotation, and Shortstop Didi Gregorious should allow either Scott Kingrey or Jean Segura to play 3rd Base, further strengthening the left side of the infield.
  

Some experts believe these two new additions – Wheeler & Gregorious – could single handedly help guide the team to their first postseason berth since 2011. However, the Phillies may still be a piece or two away from being a legitimate contender in the NL East. If I could once again reference the 2010 season: if it weren’t for the additions of Cuban born pitchers Danys Baez and Jose Contreras in the bullpen, the team may not have won a league best 97 games. Bench pieces Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, and Juan Castro – who is now a member of the teams coaching staff – also played crucial roles during their run to October. Depth matters, especially in today’s game.

Despite making only 2 MLB signings this winter, the Phillies have added a bunch of players on minor league contracts. These deals include invitations to spring training, with a chance to make the Opening Day Roster. Today, we are going to predict who, of this group, can make an impact on the big league team this upcoming season. For the sake of this article, we are only going to be focusing on players who have already debuted in the Majors. Prospects such as Kyle Dohy (LHP) and Mickey Moniak (OF) will not be considered in the discussion

Phillies Non-Roster Invitees 2020

BOLD denotes player with MLB Experience

Pitchers:

–           Connor Brogdon

–           Kyle Dohy (L)

–           Tyler Gilbert (L)

–           Spencer Howard

–           Damon Jones (L)

–           Francisco Liriano (L)

–           Bud Norris

–           Ramon Rosso

–           Addison Russ

–           Drew Storen

–           Zach Warren (L)

Catchers:

–           Christian Bethancourt

–           Henri Lartigue (S)

Infielders:

–           Alec Bohm

–          Logan Forsythe

–           Phil Gosselin

–           Darick Hall (L)

–           Josh Harrison

–           Austin Listi

–           Nick Maton (L)

–           Ronald Torreyes

–           Neil Walker (S)

–           Luke Williams

Outfielders

–           Mikie Mahtook

–           Mickey Moniak (L)

–           Matt Szczur

Analysis:

Out of the 11 pitchers the Phillies are bringing to camp as Non-Roster invitees, just 3 of them have MLB Experience. The lone southpaw of the group, Francisco Liriano, is the only arm to have pitched in the major leagues in 2019. Left handed batters hit just .192 against him last season. Although Liriano has experience as a starting pitcher, it appears he has found a nice niche in the bullpen.

Fellow veteran Bud Norris also fits the qualification of starter turned reliever. The 34 year old righthander even has experience as a closing pitcher. The same can be said for long time Nationals closer Storen. Both could be viewed as, “low risk, high reward” signings, who, if nothing more, can serve as pitching depth in Triple AAA Lehigh Valley. Believe it or not, Catcher Christian Bethancourt also has experience on an MLB mound. With that being said, there is a reason he was invited to camp as a catcher and not a pitcher.

If someone from this group were to spell someone off a roster spot coming out of camp, there is a good chance it could be either Josh Harrison or Neil Walker. Both have held starting jobs in the big leagues and have postseason experience. They were at one point or another a teammate with current Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen during his tenure in Pittsburgh. Walker – along with Ronald Torreyes – even has experience playing for first year manager Joe Girardi while in New York. Logan Forsythe, who signed with the team late last week, may also be in the mix for a roster spot. The remaining member of this group, Phil Gosselin, is the only Non-Roster invitee to have played with the Phillies last season.

This year, the team will welcome a familiar face to some Philadelphia sports fans in Outfielder Matt Szczur. The former Villanova Quarterback was a member of the Cubs team that “broke the curse” in 2016. Mikie Mahtook is another intriguing name to look out for this Spring. The former 1st round selection was let go by the Tigers at the conclusion of this season. The Phillies currently have numerous outfielders who have a chance to break camp with the team. If either Szczur or Mahtook were to make the big league club out of camp, they would have to perform well enough in Spring Training to beat out a younger player. Even then, it may not be enough to solidify a spot on the 26 man roster.

2020 will be the 1st season where each team will start with a 26 man roster, as opposed to a 25 man group. The Phillies have yet to make another MLB signing this winter. However, they have added a number of guys who could make an impact at some point during the 2020 campaign. Only time will tell if these additions will work in our favor.

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