2/2/22 : Phillies Starting Pitchers
It now seems most likely, actually now probable, that major league Spring Training will be delayed and perhaps even shortened. It’s sad really that the two sides can’t agree on how to share an enormous pot of gold. Business is business but timing is also telling, with all the struggles the world has endured in recent times it’s disheartening that these folks can’t lock themselves in to a room and settle this rather than continue a seemingly uncaring lockout. It really boggles the mind how rigid each side seems and the lack of willingness to “negotiate“. Truly unbelievable but perhaps to be expected as a reflection of the general discourse of our society to agree on much of anything. Enough said.
If they ever do settle 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 check out the last article in that six part series - within the article there are links to the initial five parts.
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 squad here are the links :
position players - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/2-1-22-phillies-position-players
bullpen - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/1-31-22-the-phillies-bullpen
Today we take a look at the starting pitchers on the current 40 man roster. It’s a group that barring injuries seems relatively set, though the old baseball adage that ya can never have enough pitching always seem to apply. Here’s where we stand along with the projected triple A reserves and some potential additional signings to bolster the crew.
The 40 man roster :
Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez and Kyle Gibson will likely come into camp holding four spots in the rotation. Zach Eflin if fully recovered from knee surgery will claim the fifth position, he’s been throwing on his own although he might be further along if the lockout wouldn’t have prohibited him from working at the complex with a catcher.
If Eflin can’t start the season on time then a competition for at least a temporary role will be had in spring camp. Hans Crouse, Bailey Falter, Scott Moss, James McArthur and Francisco Morales are all on the 40 man roster and will be starters this season - as of now slated to form the rotation at AAA level Lehigh Valley but also in the hunt for a big league role if big Zach can’t go. Christopher Sanchez is also on the 40 man roster but I believe he’s gonna convert to a reliever, that’s still a TBD.
Other Options :
Although most likely to open the season in the minors such starters as Erik Miller, Colton Eastman, Jack Perkins, Josh Hendrickson, Tyler Phillips and Adam Leverett would be given a look in the spring. If there’s a shortened big league camp that exposure becomes very limited at best though. At the least all should pitch at the AA level this season and if successful would be on the radar. A fella like Griff McGarry might just push himself into the picture as well.
Free Agent Possibilities :
Signing a veteran swing man would fill two holes, if Eflin isn’t ready the signee could fill the starting spot temporarily and if he is they can become a multi inning relief option. It would allow the younger hurlers mentioned above to start the season in the minors in a set role and accumulate innings. Lefty hurlers like Matt Boyd, Tyler Anderson, Steven Breault, Kwang-Hyun Kim or Brett Anderson would fit the bill without costing a costly salary. Righties such as John Gant, Mike Foltynewicz, Scott Blewett, Chad Kuhl or Jose Urena could also work.
Since the big leaguers can’t come out to play just yet I will return my attention to the minor leaguers. They will open mini camp on February 14th in Clearwater albeit most likely closed to the public. In the coming days I’ll start on a new series of articles chatting about some young hitters and position players to keep an eye out for - till then - Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️