Let’s bring the Phillies’ 40-man roster back to 40 men

The Phillies’ 40-man roster is now at 46.

That sounds weird, but it’s true, and it happened because players on the 60-day disabled list are now included.

Also it was 47, but now it’s 46 because the team put Ty Kelly on waivers. He cleared, and now he’s a free agent. Goodbye, Ty Kelly.

So here’s the question: Who else will be expunged to bring the roster back to 40? Let’s do this in a tiered, easy-to-understand style.

Not going anywhere

  1. Victor Arano
  2. Ben Lively
  3. Hoby Milner
  4. Aaron Nola
  5. Edubray Ramos
  6. Vince Velasquez
  7. Jorge Alfaro
  8. Rhys Hoskins
  9. J.P. Crawford
  10. Aaron Altherr
  11. Odubel Herrera
  12. Nick Williams

Okay, weird list, but let me explain:

Arano, Milner and Ramos feel like near or absolute locks to make the 2018 bullpen, and you tend to keep a few extra relievers on the 40-man.

Nola is a stone-cold lock, but why Lively and Velasquez? The former is a surefire fringe guy. He doesn’t have huge value (maybe he’s the back end of some trade), but he’s also someone you can relatively trust. The Phils need at least one of those guys right now. The former? He has little to no value right now, and the Phils need pitching.

The hitters are relatively obvious.

Not going anywhere, but you never know after the World Series …

13. Jerad Eickhoff
14. Luis Garcia
15. Adam Morgan
16. Hector Neris
17. Nick Pivetta
18. Yacksel Rios
19. Jake Thompson
20. Andrew Knapp
21. Cameron Rupp
22. Maikel Franco
23. Freddy Galvis
24. Cesar Hernandez
25. Tommy Joseph
26. Dylan Cozens
27. Roman Quinn

So this exercise is looking at the 40-man roster once the major league offseason actually begins, which is after the World Series. So these guys are locks for the 40-man because of their experience, decent play, or maybe the commitment the team has with them. Once the offseason begins, any one of these guys can be trade bait. Also I’m not sure why I put Rios here and the other young relievers in the first category, but whatever.

Tougher decision, but probably safe

28. Zach Eflin
29. Elniery Garcia
30. Mark Leiter Jr.
31. Eliezer Alvarez
32. Jesmuel Valentin

This group includes guys who are either fringe MLB players or guys who haven’t yet made their impressions in the big leagues – mostly because of injury – but deserve the chance.

The winners of the tough decision

33. Drew Anderson
34. Zac Curtis
35. Ricardo Pinto
36. Kevin Siegrist
37. Jesen Therrien
38. Alberto Tirado
39. Pedro Florimon
40. Cameron Perkins

For now, these guys make the cut. Things will change – new players will come in from the outside and the organization (thinking Ranger Suarez, Scott Kingery, etc.). Curtis is an interesting arm, and you’d have to prefer the youth of Anderson and Tirado over some other guys. Florimon is arb-eligible this offseason, and the way he played before his gruesome injury should give the Phils pause to consider him an option for 2018.

The loser of the tough decision

Mark Appel

So there’s only one player who’s really at risk of missing the offseason 40-man. I’m saying it’s Appel, who did nothing in 2017 to even entertain a promotion. And while he does have the stuff, he’s never been able to put it together. Not for any long stretch. This may be the end of the road.

Free agents sure to move on

Henderson Alvarez
Clay Buchholz
Andres Blanco
Hyun-soo Kim
Daniel Nava

Nava was great, and there’s a chance the Phils try to bring him back on a two-year pact, but it’s more likely they find a guy with slightly more pop to be the fourth outfielder. Kim could’ve been interesting, but he did nothing to show he belongs in 2018. And that’s about it.


Okay, so this was one big piece just to say Mark Appel could be the odd man out.

Also, the Phils can certainly cut more players by the offseason.

We’ll see what happens as the roster dwindles.



  1. PhilliesFan

    October 4, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    WOW, if Cameron Perkins is a tough decision the Phillies rebuild is not going well.

  2. Mike Fassano

    October 4, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    It’s easier to “stash” a rule 5 pitcher than an everyday player. For that reason, I think the Phillies keep Appel, and expose Florimon or Perkins. The rest of the list is fine.

    • Bob

      October 4, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      What about Kingery? He’s going to be coming up.

      • Mike Fassano

        October 5, 2017 at 5:50 am

        He’ll probably start the year at Lehigh. The Phillies want him to cut down on his K’s. Should be up by May 1st.

      • Bob D

        October 5, 2017 at 7:05 am

        Kingery does not need to be added to 40 man roster yet to be protected. The team will likely need roughly 7 spots to protect players still in minors (or expose to rule 5 draft) so everyone from #29 on is on bubble. Now some spots could be freed up via trades if they can push them early in offseason but I wouldn’t count on it.

  3. Craig Glessner

    October 5, 2017 at 7:17 am

    One major flaw to this list is not putting Kilome, Seranthony Dominguez, Ranger Suarez, Carlos Tocci, and Brandon Liebrandt to the 40 man they need protected from rule 5. I’d say that ends Florimon, Perkins, Tirado, Zac Curtis, and Siegrist. It would be nice to get Appel on the 40 man just to use as a throw in player in a trade. That is the reason why I’d protect Tocci also I would package Tocci,Appel, and any of the players on the list to be traded for starting pitching. Either way this is a much more solid 40 man than last year. There were only 12 teams with 500 records in baseball this year and 10 made the playoffs. Next year we are in the mix for the playoffs it is not a building season it’s the start of a new dynasty. GO PHILS

    • Jaron B

      October 5, 2017 at 7:46 am

      I’d say we’re in between. We have a young core that is capable of being the next dynasty, but we are not there yet – they only just started to show those signs. If we’re lucky in 1-R games (dependent on manager-coaches, trades and the young core) and the team can score 3-4 runs while the starters go 6 innings at a 3.75 ERA, then we could make a run at the Wild Card. The 1st-half schedule, thanks to a Nats-dominated NL East, is in the Phillies’ favor. A slow start is also very possible, especially if the moves this offseason don’t work out, given how young this team is and the uncertainty of the managerial change.

  4. Justin McElroy

    October 5, 2017 at 7:59 am

    If there’s no trade interest, I’d have no problems with releasing Tommy Joseph and either Knapp or Rupp. Players with their upsides are relatively easy to find.

  5. Jaron B

    October 5, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I largely agree with this list.

  6. Brad

    October 5, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Jesen Therrien just had TJ surgery I doubt they keep him on the list.

  7. Mike Fassano

    October 5, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Depends on how high the Phillies are on him. A lot of pitchers get an uptake in velocity after TJ surgery. He’s going to be on the disabled list all next year, so he should be good to go when the Phillies are ready to compete in 2019.

  8. Nick M

    October 6, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Why has no one mentioned that Pinto stinks. He is right there in the Colton Murray category of pitchers that stink that the Phillies keep giving opportunity to. If Pinto is on the 40 man, I think there is a problem.

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