Analysis

Who’s on the Phillies spring training roster?

Spring training has begun. Pitchers and catchers have reported and, in fact, are working out (unofficially).

Going to Clearwater to check it out? Thinking about it? Read Grapefruiting 2017 – our guide to Clearwater. Places to hang, eat, drink, etc. All good stuff.

But what about the Phillies themselves? Who’s working out with the big club? Who has a chance of making the team?

Let’s go through the full spring roster.

CATCHER
2 definite spots on the 25-man roster

Locks: Cameron Rupp
Bubble: Andrew Knapp, Bryan Holaday, Ryan Hanigan
Prospects/Depth: Jorge Alfaro, Logan Moore, Chase Numata

There are few battles this spring. Here’s one. Knapp, a prospect, has the inside track and should make the big club if he hits well enough. Non-roster invitees Holaday and Hanigan are there to compete with Knapp. If one of them beats Knapp, someone on the 40-man roster would have to go, so don’t bet on it to happen. Alfaro is a long shot to make the team out of spring (he’d basically have to supplant Rupp), while Moore and Numata are insurance policies and will head to double- and triple-A soon enough.

INFIELD
5 definite spots on the 25-man roster

Locks: Tommy Joseph (1B), Cesar Hernandez (2B), Freddy Galvis (2B, SS), Maikel Franco (3B), Andres Blanco (2B, SS, 3B)

OUTFIELD
3 definite spots on the 25-man roster

Locks: Howie Kendrick (1B, 2B, LF), Odubel Herrera (LF, CF, RF), Michael Saunders (LF, RF)

BENCH
3 definite spots on the 25-man roster

Bubble: Aaron Altherr (LF, CF, RF), Chris Coghlan (LF, CF, RF, 1B, 2B, 3B), Pedro Florimon (2B, SS), Tyler Goeddel (LF, CF, RF), Taylor Featherston (2B, SS, 3B), Hector Gomez (2B, SS, 3B, LF), Daniel Nava (LF, RF, 1B), Cameron Perkins (LF, CF, RF, 1B), Brock Stassi (1B), Jesmuel Valentin (2B, SS),
Prospects/Depth: J.P. Crawford (SS), Dylan Cozens (LF, RF), Rhys Hoskins (1B), Scott Kingery (2B), Andrew Pullin (LF, RF), Roman Quinn (LF, CF, RF), Nick Williams (LF, CF, RF)

This is a crowded field. And Pete Mackanin can be flexible with his bench. Altherr is nearly a lock as a fourth outfielder, but a terrible showing could change that. Coghlan is probably the best bet to make the team out of the non-roster invitees, considering his position flexibility. Nava is probably next. It’s also possible one of the infielders sneaks onto the roster instead of Nava or Coghlan.

If Perkins lights it up, he could be a surprise entry. Same for Stassi, but he’d probably have to go nuts with the bat.

None of the prospects is likely to reach the majors right away, even Quinn, who played well in his cup of coffee last year.

Early guesses? Altherr, Coghlan and Nava go to Philadelphia. Florimon and Gomez are cut. The Lehigh Valley infield: Hoskins, Valentin, Crawford, Featherston. Stassi on the bench. The Lehigh Valley outfield: Cozens, Quinn, Williams. Goeddel on the bench as designated hitter. Perkins on the bench. Pullin back to Reading. Kingery to Reading to start 2017.

STARTING ROTATION
5 definite spots on the 25-man roster

Locks: Jeremy Hellickson, Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Clay Buchholz
Prospects/Depth: Drew Anderson, Mark Appel, Alec Asher, Zach Eflin, Elniery Garcia, Ben Lively, Ricardo Pinto, Nick Pivetta, Jake Thompson, Alberto Tirado

BULLPEN
7 definite spots on the 25-man roster

Locks: Joaquin Benoit, Jeanmar Gomez, Hector Neris, Pat Neshek
Bubble: Pedro Beato, Sean Burnett, Luis Garcia, Dalier Hinojosa, Michael Mariot, Adam Morgan, Colton Murray, Cesar Ramos, Edubray Ramos, Joely Rodriguez
Prospects/Depth: Victor Arano

Barring injuries, the rotation seems set. Most of what remains is depth, and one would assume Asher, Eflin and Thompson would be considered first.

The bullpen is where a battle will wage. The bubble candidate most likely to make the team is Ramos, who is really just about a lock at this point. Rodriguez will battle with Burnett for a left-handed reliever spot. Morgan is a possible long-man candidate, if they want one, and it wouldn’t be crazy to see someone like Asher compete there, too. Garcia is on the 40-man roster, so he’s the stiffest competition for Ramos. Otherwise the rest are non-roster guys and would need to really impress this time out.

Arano is still a prospect.

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