Phillies roster prediction 3.0

Mar 17, 2023 - 3:00 PM
MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at <a href=Philadelphia Phillies" src="" />
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Day is a lot closer today than it was a few weeks ago when we gave our second projection, which you can find below. A lot has happened, injuries thwarting best laid plans and such, but the top end talent the team possesses still has made it through unscathed. There should still be ample optimism that this is a playoff, maybe even division winning, team. So, here is where we believe things stand at this point in the spring season.

Phillies roster prediction 1.0

Phillies roster prediction 2.0

Catcher: J.T. Realmuto

The best catcher in baseball has been showing as much during the World Baseball Classic. So long as nothing catastrophic happens (and if it does, better watch yourself, DeRosa...), he’ll be there behind the plate for the majority of the season.

Infield: Rhys Hoskins, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, Alec Bohm

Changes? None.

Timeshares? Shouldn’t be.

Intrigue? Abundant.

Will Hoskins perform more consistently knowing this is his platform year and he might be one of the better offensive options available in free agency? Can Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm add more power to their game at the plate while also providing at least average defense in the field? What kind of season will Trea Turner have? These are all questions that will lead into the season for the quartet that need to be answered in a positive fashion for the team to have success.

Outfield: Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh, Nick Castellanos

For the United States in the World Baseball Classic, they have won games with a hugely deep lineup that can just push an average pitching staff over the finish line. Getting to play Canada and Great Britain helps, but they have done it by mashing in their two victories. One thing that is curious is Kyle Schwarber sitting out two of the three games even though he homered in the lone game he played. How will that affect his ability to get his timing back in time for the start of the season? That’ll be an interesting question to look at.

Nick Castellanos and Brandon Marsh haven’t looked at all great during Grapefruit League seasons, but it’s likely both are just working on things to get their timing back. Give them time for whatever changes they did make to take root.

Designated hitter: Darick Hall

This is a temporary gig as it’ll go to Bryce Harper once he returns from his rehab, but there really is no getting around the fact that Hall has hit quite well this spring. He’ll hit as the DH in the games where the pitcher is right-handed, but I wonder if there are certain left-handed matchups where Hall would be used over someone else. There was a time where the team didn’t want Chase Utley or Ryan Howard to face left-handed pitchers, preferring them to find success against their strengths. It invites the age old question of how does one expect to get better against a weakness if they never have a chance to face said weakness? For Hall, if the team wants him to improve against lefties, he’ll have to face them.

Bench: Garrett Stubbs, Edmundo Sosa, Josh Harrison, Scott Kingery

The first three have been locked in for a while, but it’s Kingery we’re choosing to make the team, but just barely. Dalton Guthrie has disappointed this spring, losing what looked like an iron grip on a bench job while Kingery has performed better than expected, making this an actual decision. The team would probably like to get something better than either one of them on the trade market, something to watch in the coming days, but for now, we’ll put Kingery making a return to the majors.

Watch for Jake Cave, though. He’s still stinging the ball in spring and could end up being the choice over Kingery.

Starting rotation: Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez, Taijuan Walker, Bailey Falter

Bye bye, Andrew Painter.

That injury dried up the cement on Falter’s job in the rotation, meaning this is how the team will ride once the bell rings. Suarez dealing with some elbow soreness could shuffle around who pitches when, but until he actually needs to spend some time in the doctor’s office, he’ll remain as one of the options the team starts with.

Relief pitching: Craig Kimbrel, Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, Connor Brogdon, Gregory Soto, Nick Nelson, Matt Strahm, Andrew Bellatti

This is what I’m going with right now, but the injury to Nelson does throw a wrench if it’s serious. He may not be the greatest option, but he does provide the ability to throw multiple innings at a time, a solid commodity to have in the early going as teams continue to ramp up arms. Without that pitcher who can deliver that kind of length, the team could be forced to carry someone like Michael Plassmeyer, who might be more needed as starting pitching depth. Nelson isn’t a big loss, but his role could be if he’s out for a while.

The rest of the arms are pretty solidly set. There have been whispers about Yunior Marte breaking camp with the team, but the reality is that he still has minor league options left. So long as he does, the team will likely give Bellatti, who also has one left, a little longer leash.

Injured list: Bryce Harper

Again, get well soon, Bryce.

Again, injuries will likely dictate a few of the fringe moves the team needs to make. Who jumps into the rotation if Suarez can’t go? What does the bench composition finally look like? What will the actual lineup look like? So many questions, so little time...

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