Phillies Release Harrison, Make Other Roster Moves

With Opening Day just three days away, the Phillies roster is starting to take shape.  One veteran name will not be with the Phillies when Opening Day comes on Friday.  Veteran utility player Josh Harrison has been granted his release by the Phillies, the team announced Tuesday evening.  The Phillies made a number of moves looking ahead to Opening Day.

Todd Zolecki of had the Harrison news:

The Phillies released another veteran in Logan Forsythe this past week as well.

The news could be good for utility player Phil Gosselin.  Though he tends to fly under the radar, Gosselin has been a steady bat for the Phillies.  After leading the team in pinch-hitting in 2019, Gosselin continues to hit during preseason action.  Much of it has not been counted, but the hits keep coming.  Phillies manager Joe Girardi told reporters on Tuesday night that Gosselin is “definitely in the mix”.

The Phillies also have the versatile Ronald Torreyes in Summer Camp.  With Neil Walker reportedly guaranteed a spot on the roster, the Phillies have room for one more utility infielder on a 26-man standard roster.  They could, however, carry an additional position player or two when rosters open at 30 players.

On the pitching side, the Phillies made the following moves:

Howard is the name that will get the attention from those transactions, most of whom were expected.

Howard could factor into the Phillies’ plans sooner than later.  The Phillies currently have six other options to start: righties Aaron Nola, Zach Wheeler, Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta.  Of the six, Eflin has been battling back spasms, and Wheeler is expected to take a paternity leave soon.  That could mean the Phillies call Howard’s name even sooner than expected. 

A week’s time off of the major league roster could preserve the year of service time.  But if the Phillies needed a paternity leave sub, Howard could be added and then optioned upon Wheeler’s return, preserving that time.  The same could be said for a short injured list stint for Eflin.  But Eflin will pitch Thursday and the Phillies will see how he is doing. 

Rosters must be set by Thursday at noon.

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