2/1/22 : Phillies Position Players
Assuming that there will be a new CBA at some point this year each team can then return to their 2022 roster construction. The Phillies have a good amount of work to complete. Previously I listed returning minor league players not on the 40 man roster who might earn positions in the majors this year - if ya missed it here’s a link to the last article in that six part series - within the article there are links to the initial five parts - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/1-22-22-major-league-debuts-part-six-final.
The minor league players will have a chance to impress the big league staff in spring training and plant the seed for possible in season call ups however the odds of making the opening day roster are long for those fellas. If ya missed my subsequent review of the big league bullpen here’s a link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/1-31-22-the-phillies-bullpen
Today we take a look at the position players on the current 40 man roster. This spring is truly needed to get it “sorted” ( I’ve been watching too many English shows on streaming channels 😂). It’s a sure thing that there will be more 40 man roster additions to be made whether they be via free agency or trade acquisitions. We will touch upon some possibilities there as well.
JT Realmuto is the starter - no doubt. He’s reportedly fully healed from his hip issues and ready to go. Three others are on the 40 man roster - Rafael Marchan, Donny Sands and Garrett Stubbs. While some are assuming that Stubbs is already the pre-designated backup I’m not of that opinion. From my view there’s a spring camp competition to earn the job with the other two ( if a trade isn’t made sending one elsewhere ) forming the catching tandem at Lehigh Valley.
Signing an additional veteran to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training is usually the norm. A guy like Willians Astudillo would be fun to see - Grayson Greiner & Ryan Lavarnway are possibilities.
At present the starting infield is conceivably Rhys Hoskins ( 1B ), Jean Segura ( 2B ), Didi Gregorius ( SS ) and Alec Bohm ( 3B ). Johan Camargo is the front runner for a reserve role. Luke Williams and Nick Maton would be in the mix as well at present. Luis Garcia is on the 40 man roster but is destined to begin at least another season in the minors, perhaps AA level Reading.
I don’t think there are any big name infield free agent targets on the horizon however I do believe there’s a high valuation on defense and that a player like Matt Chapman of the A’s has been discussed as a potential trade acquisition. Solidifying the left side of the infield defensively at either shortstop or third base is high on the list. New infield coach Bobby Dickerson will help to improve the cause but time has already been lost in that effort due to the lockout.
Minor league deals are usually offered with spring invites to at least a few veterans. Ronald Torreyes and Phil Gosselin might be considerations.
Brad Miller is certainly a major league free agent consideration to bring back as a reserve and occasional DH.
Current 40 man roster :
Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper is the only lock to return - right field is secured for a long while. It’s my belief that Matt Vierling will be on a 2022 major league opening day roster somewhere, might be in Philadelphia or traded to another organization. He can hit and plays adequate defense, whether that’s in a fourth outfielder type role or as a starter is to be determined, a big spring camp would certainly help his cause. Jhailyn Ortiz and Simon Muzziotti are highly likely to begin the year in the upper levels of the minor leagues but both can plant impressionable seeds in the minds of the big league staff with good spring camps.
Adam Haseley and Mickey Moniak are at a crossroads point … at least in their Phillies careers. Both have had a taste of the show but haven’t established a firm position. Can they make the club this spring ? The answer is yes … but it will take a very strong camp else they are seemingly slated for spots in Lehigh Valley or could also be included in trade packages to other organizations.
Luke Williams is perhaps another option for the outfield, he’s played seven defensive positions in his minor league career and that certainly helps his case for a big league job, has speed to burn.
On the Rebound ?
Scott Kingery is coming back from a significant shoulder injury/surgery and in my humble opinion also was impacted by the long term effects of a Covid infection. I believe that he’s healthy now and will be a non roster invite to spring camp. I haven’t given up on him as a viable big league contributor - with a strong spring camp he can earn himself a roster position and give the team the defensive versatility like was originally planned - it’s easy to forget that he was the front runner for the opening day center field job coming into 2021 spring camp.
Trades and Free Agents :
It’s been my opinion for awhile now that the Phillies primary free agent target is Kris Bryant. Whether that will come to fruition or not remains to be seen. Bryant can play multiple positions including left or center field where he’s more than competent. His defensive versatility and willingness to play different positions is a huge asset to any manager. If Bryant can’t be signed then I believe that Kyle Schwarber is a pursuit albeit he would only be slotted in left field or DH, I just have a hard time seeing him getting out of the grasp of the Red Sox. Jorge Soler is a less costly option perhaps for left field, he would bring a powerful bat as well to the lineup albeit defensively he’s not so strong. Don’t sleep on Tommy Pham as a potential signing, Joc Pederson is a probable discussion as well. Michael Conforto might be an outlier if the compensation pick he’s tagged with at present is waived via the new CBA. To be honest, I have no real insight on who might be signed - like most everyone else 🤷♂️.
On the trade market the center field possibilities that are likely being considered include Brandon Marsh of the Angels, Harrison Bader of the Cardinals, Daulton Varsho of the Diamondbacks and Max Kepler of the Twins. All are younger and more affordable options than Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays and offer strong defensive skills which is Kiermaier’s forte, that’s not to say Kiermaier might also be a trade consideration. Bryan Reynolds of the Pirates seems to be on many folks wish list but I don’t believe the Phillies are a match for what Pittsburgh seeks in return. I’ve read a lot of speculation on Ramon Laureano of the Athletics as well - I suppose that might be possible. Again - who knows 🤷♂️.
Odubel Herrera, Roman Quinn and Andrew McCutchen are at least known commodities that are free agents to be potentially re-signed - it’s assumed that the Phillies have moved on from each but stranger things have happened.
There will likely be some fellas signed to minor league contracts as well with big league camp invitations - Travis Jankowksi could be one of those again.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️ here’s to hoping a new CBA is signed soon 🤦♂️