A Look at the Phillies Roster, 3/29

The Phillies have kept busy in the past few days. Gone to the minors are Adam Morgan, Luis Garcia, Elvis Araujo, David Lough, and Ryan Jackson. Out of the organization is Edward Mujica. What's the roster look like now?

  • The Rotation- Jeremy Hellickson, Aaron Nola, Charlie Morton, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez are all in the rotation, barring injury. There are no other starters in camp, and the decisions seem made. Adam Morgan, David Buchanan, Alec Asher, and Severino Gonzalez all appear to be sticking around on the 40 man roster for now, but in the minors. Matt Harrison will head to the 60-Day DL as well here.
  • The Line-Up- Cesar Hernandez appears set to lead-off and play second base. Odubel Herrera is a lock to hit high in the order and play center. Maikel Franco appears ready to break out in a big way this season at third base. Peter Bourjos looks set to play in left to start the season. Freddy Galvis will be our shortstop early on. There appears to be a platoon at first base- Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf. There also looks like a platoon is coming in right field between Tyler Goeddel and Wil Venable. Finally, behind the plate I expect Cameron Rupp and Carlos Ruiz to share the load.
  • The Bench- This leaves two spots on the roster. Andres Blanco has won one of them already. While it is possible that Venable could still lose out on a spot, it's likely that he has one, and this is a fight between Emmanuel Burriss and Cedric Hunter. Because of his versatility, lower long-term value, and good Spring, I believe Emmanuel Burriss will win the last spot. Cody Asche will start on the 15-Day DL, while Aaron Altherr will start on the 60-Day DL. Jorge Alfaro, Darnell Sweeney, Taylor Featherston, and Roman Quinn will occupy 40 man roster spots in the minors, for now.
  • Bullpen- It appears that David Hernandez, Brett Oberholtzer, Jeanmar Gomez, and Dalier Hinojosa are the locks. That leaves James Russell and Daniel Stumpf on the left-handed side, and Andrew Bailey, Ernesto Frieri, and Hector Neris to battle on the right-handed side. I believe that Daniel Stumpf is the safest bet of the bunch, because as a Rule 5 guy, the Phillies have to keep him or give him back. I think the Phillies will also add Ernesto Frieri after a late-Spring surge, as he can opt out this week, and they could use a power arm late in games. That leaves one more spot. Neris has options, but a roster spot, complicating the decision on him. Bailey pitched well early in camp, but has fallen off a bit, and Manager Pete Mackanin has been critical of his command and velocity of late. James Russell has been solid, and the Phillies have stated a willingness to carry three lefties. I'm betting on James Russell for the last spot. The Phillies will 60-Day DL Mario Hollands, while Colton Murray, Edubray Ramos, Jimmy Cordero, Luis Garcia, Elvis Araujo, Hector Neris, and Michael Mariot will be on the 40 man roster, but in the minors.
All of this leaves one small problem- 41 players would have to be on the 40 man roster to make this team look this way. Could the Phillies send Stumpf back? Sure. Given their desire to stockpile younger arms though, that doesn't make the most sense at this stage. One would expect they will try and get through the season with him. Expect that Buchanan, Gonzalez, Featherston, Mariot, and Garcia all are the players on the hot-seat, assuming the Phillies don't trade someone out to a team in need. If the Phillies 60-Day DL Harrison, Altherr, and Hollands, they will only need to Designate For Assignment one more player to keep to 40 players. It's also worth noting that Bailey (May 1st), Russell (June 1st), and Frieri (Thursday) all have opt outs in their contract, and that Burriss would be the likely odd man out when Asche returns, and he does not have option at this time, meaning a 40 man spot could come open by May.