3/22/21 : Eight games, Eight Days
update : Ramon Rosso optioned to Mini Camp and Bryan Mitchell, Michael Ynoa assigned to mini camp today
Three games against the Yankees, three with Toronto and two against the Tigers till the end of camp arrives on the 29th of the month. This week opt out clauses can be exercised by veterans Brandon Kintzler, Tony Watson, Hector Rondon, Ivan Nova and Matt Joyce.
So far this spring the Phillies are 9-10-1 ... 4-2 vs Tigers, 1-0-1 vs Orioles, 2-3 vs Yankees, 2-0 vs Pirates and 0-5 vs the Blue Jays. Four of the remaining eight games are night contests starting at 6 or 6:30 PM. It’s crunch time for spring training and opening day roster decisions.
Where we stand ...
In my opinion the starting rotation is decided ... Nola, Wheeler, Eflin, Moore and Anderson will be the five men to open the season.
The bullpen roles are also coming into focus ...
Long man/Spot starter/Piggyback : Spencer Howard if healthy gets the job although he has had back issues of late ... if not able to go then Vince Velasquez ( also battling an injury -oblique ) or David Hale are in play. Ivan Nova seems like the odd man out, perhaps he’s willing to take a minor league assignment in reserve. One will be selected.
Multi Innings : Sam Coonrad was the first reliever yesterday to throw more than one inning, he’s certainly in the mix for the role as is Jo Jo Romero.
The Backend Crew : Archie Bradley, Hector Neris, Jose Alvarado, Connor Brogdon, Brandon Kintzler and Tony Watson seem like the choices ... there is a chance that Romero is kept in this role and Watson goes elsewhere.
Infield Reserves :
It appears as if Brad Miller is tracking back from an oblique issue towards being ready for opening day. If that’s the case he’s a lock. Scott Kingery is the likely super utility player with Ronald Torreyes still having an outside chance at the role. If Miller can’t go don’t count out Darick Hall as a possible fill in.
Center Field and Outfield reserves :
It’s now my opinion that Odubel Herrera and Roman Quinn will open the year platooning in center field with Matt Joyce as the fifth outfielder and primary pinch hitter. Once Adam Haseley is healthy and ready a roster adjustment could be made accordingly ... depends on how guys are playing when that time comes.
Alternate Camp :
I believe that twenty eight roster spots will be available for the Allentown camp which begins after Spring Training concludes. The crew likely will play exhibition games against the Scranton Wilkes Barre Rail Riders during the month of April which will be quite repetitive as they are already slated to face off against Scranton 36 times during the regular season 😳.
I’d expect at least the following players who’ve been in big league spring training to be assigned to Alternate Camp in Allentown with others joining who did not participate in Clearwater, just an educated guess though :
Enyel De Los Santos
C Rafael Marchan
C Christian Bethancourt
C Edgar Cabral
INF Nick Maton
INF CJ Chatham
INF Ronald Torreyes
INF Darick Hall
INF Luke Williams
OF Mickey Moniak
OF Travis Jankowski
OF Matt Vierling
Clearwater Minor League Spring Camp :
Covid Intake testing and isolation will begin for some players as soon as this week. The camp is slated to “officially” begin on April 2nd. It will be run in a bubble as mandated by MLB protocol. There will be no admittance of fans into the complex and players will be required to follow the same social distancing rules that applied to the fellas in big league camp. I’m not sure about games against other teams but it’s likely they will occur ... also likely they aren’t open to public view, at least from within the gates.
The 2021 minor league season isn’t slated to start till May 4th so training camp will be at least a month long. Initial participants in Clearwater will primarily be candidates to start the season at AA Reading and A levels Jersey Shore and Clearwater. There are also likely to be players in camp that will begin play at the AAA level once the season starts. It’s unclear that players projected as participants at the GCL level will be in the April camp albeit it seems that they will not be given Covid spacing requirements. That group would be destined to begin their training in May at the Complex.
There will be players that carryover from one camp to another. Obviously those who have participated in big league camp will be ahead of those who have not and thus will need to revisit the initial drills till practice games begin again.
We will not have access inside the gates to cover minor league camp. Hopefully as time passes and more folks are immunized the restrictions will loosen, till then we will have to abide by the rules as stated. I’m unsure I will write during the camp period as reporting topics will be very limited.
Eight games in eight days and then things turnover. Decisions to be made in accord. Progress to occur.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️