Since the Phillies’ first spring training game is tomorrow, I’ll go over five non-roster invitees out of 30 that could possibly make the 2020 Opening Day roster.
#1 Blake Parker
Parker started 2019 with Minnesota as their closer. He was then traded before the deadline to the Phillies, where he finished 2019 with a 3-3 record, a 4.55 ERA, and two saves in 61.1 innings of work. Though those are not great stats, they are good compared to the rest of the bullpen. After re-signing Parker to a minor-league deal this offseason, his chances of being in the bigs come March 26th look pretty good.
#2 Neil Walker
A 34-year-old switch hitter who can play both the corner outfield positions and some first base, he will have a good shot at making the team. He has played for the Pirates, Mets, Yankees, and Marlins. Last year in Miami he didn’t have a bad season, hitting .261 with an OBP. of .344. He could be an okay bench bat for Philadelphia this season. Though it would probably take a very nice spring to make the Opening Day roster, we should definitely see Walker in the big leagues at some point in 2020.
#3 Bud Norris
Norris has bounced around the majors for most of his career as a late-inning reliever. Last season, as a 34 year old, he was the closer for St. Louis. Though he went just 3-6, he did have a 3.59 ERA with 28 saves in 64 games. The Phils could use some pieces like Norris, and I think the chances are high that he will be in the bullpen for most of the season. Whether that’ll be for Opening Day or not will depend on how his spring in Clearwater goes.
#4 Francisco Liriano
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one that jumped out of their seat thinking it said Francisco Lindor when the Phils signed Liriano to a minor-league deal in January. Though it’s not Lindor, this is a pretty good depth signing by the Phillies. Though he is 36 years old, he went 5-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 70 innings last season–Not bad stats at all. No matter how good Liriano does in Spring Training, I’d say his chances are high for making the big league roster. He could also be a very good under-the-radar weapon out of the bullpen in 2020.
#5 Alec Bohm
He’s on every list, isn’t he? And why not? Last season Bohm hit .305 with 21 homers, 30 doubles, and posted an OPS. of .896 in the minors. Being the top third base prospect, everyone thinks he has a shot at the big league Opening Day roster. He’s fifth on the list because I think the Phils want to get him a little more seasoning in AAA, but I expect to see him up in the bigs around June. But, if Bohm absolutely tears it up in spring training, we could very well see him in Miami on March 26th.