UPDATE: (3-29-21 at 6:15 PM) Odubel Herrera will not be on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports. Adam Hasley (.316/.381/.526) and Roman Quinn (.270/.341/.405) outperformed him and look set to split time in center field this season.
Just a few days away from the beginning of the MLB season. Let us dive into the Phillies opening day roster 2021:
The Starting 5
The Phillies’ starting rotation is set. We know the two at the top. Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler will hopefully return to their normal commanding status.
- Aaron Nola posted a 3.28 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 96 K, 23 BB, 71.1 IP.
- Zach Wheeler dealt a 2.92 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 53 K, 16 BB, 71 IP.
Philly brings a pair of veteran arms on one-year prove-it deals. Matt Moore and Chase Anderson will join a rotation with and a player who the Phillies hope is finally a rising star in Zach Eflin. Spencer Howard was sent back down for some more seasoning.
Right field – Bryce Harper’s power was down a little bit last season, as his 13 homers and 33 RBI were not at elite levels during the shortened 60-game 2020 season. I am not worried about Harper. He will definitely bounce back. A bright spot is he cut down on strikeouts in 2020.
Centerfield – This is the million-dollar question. Odubel Herrera will not be on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports. Adam Hasley (.316/.381/.526) and Roman Quinn (.270/.341/.405) outperformed him and look set to split time in center field this season. Scott Kingery was optioned to the minors.
Left field – McCutchen looks like he ready to return to his leadership role. McCutchen bounced back from his torn ACL and played in 57 of 60 games in the shortened 2020 season. He posted a .253, 10 HR, 34 RBI in 2020. This maybe Andrews last year on the Phillies. McCutchen has a $15 million option for the 2022 season, and while there hasn’t been any indication given, either way, it seems reasonable that unless Cutch has an all-star caliber season, the Phils may elect to go younger and allocate that cash elsewhere.
Catcher – JT Realmuto is coming off of his best season at the plate, albeit in a drastically shortened season. He hit .266/.349/.491 with a career-high .840 OPS. He came out hot, hitting .300 with eight homers and 20 RBI in his first 65 plate appearances. Realmuto is a very productive better baserunner. He offers a better chance to advance two bases. Good chance you will see him in the clean-up position.
First Base – Rhys Hoskins is at what most feel to be a prove-it year. He is widely inconsistent. Hoskins put up a 245, 10 HR, 26 RBI in 2020. His production is streaky at best. Last season, Hoskins hit second in all 41 games he played and delivered a .384 on-base percentage, one of the main things you want out of a 1- or 2-hitter. So hopefully things are looking up.
Second Base – Jean Segura has been a slightly above-average infielder with a little pop, but who is probably not playing up to his $14 million a year salary. He will probably bat 7th which would make him one of the NL’s better 7-hitters. Segura has hit .298 with runners in scoring position in each of his two seasons as a Phillie. Last season, he had a .920 OPS with RISP with four more walks than strikeouts.
Shortstop – Didi Gregorius was one of the Phils’ most reliable and productive players (.284, 10 HR, 40 RBI) during the abbreviated 60-game season. Gregorius slugged .469 last season against lefties with four homers, two triples, and a double.
Third Base – Alec Bohm hit .338 last year in 44 games and has already shown in his young pro career that he can hit for average and get on base. The 24-year-old infielder was the runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year in 2020. Alec Bohm, who led MLB last season by hitting .452 with runners in scoring position, would make a lot of sense in the cleanup spot in Year 2. Phillies opening day roster 2021has some real pop.
Jose Alvarado – Lefty reliever Jose Alvarado has been one of the biggest stories in camp, throwing 100 mph fastballs and racking up six scoreless innings while allowing just three hits, a walk, and striking out 10 in his first six outings.
Archie Bradley – Bradley joined the Phillies on a $6 million deal in January and appears to be firmly in the closer conversation. He owns a 2.95 ERA since converting to a relief role in 2017.
Hector Neris – Neris has 70 career saves, 14th-most in baseball since 2017. His 82.4% save rate during that time. We all know about his inconsistency. Hopefully, with more help on the back end, he will be able to settle in.
Connor Brogdon – Brogdon is seen as a potential setup man by the Phillies this season. He flashed potential during his 11.1-inning debut last season, posting a 3.97 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. His 38.6 percent strikeout rate proved to be more than enough to overcome his 11.4 percent walk rate and 36.4 percent groundball rate.
Brandon Kintzler – 36, has a career 3.31 ERA and 61 saves over 454 relief appearances with the Brewers, Twins, Nationals, Cubs, and the Marlins. He went 2-3 with a 2.22 ERA and 12 saves in 24 appearances last season with the Marlins.
Vince Velasquez – On his 9th live with the organization. Ultimately, though, the Phillies don’t have enough pitching depth in triple-A to feel comfortable moving on from Velasquez. Let us see how this all plays out.
David Hale or Sam Coonrod will have to fight for the final spot in the bullpen.
Andrew Knapp – had a breakout year in 2020 getting a little extra time on the field with J.T. Realmuto hurt at the end of the season. He is the backup this season.
Brad Miller – The Bamboo is back for its second stint. The Phillies paid handsomely for Miller and will be relying on his veteran leadership and versatility. The Phillies signed Miller in February to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. In 2019, he hit .263 and slugged .610 with 12 homers in 130 plate appearances. He ended September with three multi-homer games in his last nine. That success led to his next opportunity in 2020 in St. Louis, where he spent half the season as the Cardinals’ cleanup hitter and had a productive first 30 games.
Matt Joyce, 36, is a career .244 hitter over 1,357 games and has 147 home runs and 496 RBIs for the Tigers, Rays, Angels, Pirates, Athletics, Braves, and Marlins. He batted .252 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 46 games with the Marlins last season.
Ronald Torreyes has been told that he made the team. Torreyes, 28, appeared in four games with the Phillies in 2020, though he saw significant playing time with the Yankees from 2016 to 2018. Also appearing for the Dodgers and Twins, Torreyes owns a career .277/.306/.369 in 639 plate appearances across six years. He has mostly split his time between second, third, and short, though he has technically can play three outfield positions.
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