As the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training enters its final week, the opening day roster has begun to take shape. With MLB’s lockdown shortening spring training by nearly a month, it condensed decision-making on the roster to just three weeks. Phillies manager Joe Girardi has a lot of choices to make.
Picks for the bullpen, center field and third base, to name a few, have surrounded the team since their first spring contest on March 18. With such a short period of time to make these decisions, it’s crucial to look at who’s spring performance put them up and who fell.
The Phillies’ top prospect, 24, has dazzled this spring and exceeded even his biggest fans’ expectations. He’s batting .550 with a home run, three RBIs and leads the team in hits with 11. He’s had a few starts at shortstop and third base, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he will not participate in the 2022 opening day roster.
After a strong start to his major league career at the end of 2021, Vierling continued to impress throughout spring training. He had three doubles, a triple and six RBIs in nine games. He is the presumed starting center fielder, along with Mickey Moniak, whose excellent spring earned him a possible spot on the Opening Day roster.
Dominguez has looked fantastic in four spring training outings, throwing to a 2.25 ERA and striking out eight. After being sidelined for two seasons, Seranthony appears to be back in shape, which would be huge for a weak bullpen.
Sanchez, 25, is yet to allow a run in six spring innings so far. He struck out seven batters and posted 0.67 WHIP in three games, including two starts. Currently on the 40-player roster, Sanchez is likely to serve Philadelphia as a longtime reliever or sixth starter.
Maton showed his advantage when called up in April last year. He continued to do so this spring – having an exhibition game on March 22 where he hit two doubles and drove in a run in a Phillies 7-2 win. Overall, he hit .333 with an .842 OPS in 10 games.
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The Phillies’ 14th-round MLB draft pick Hall also had a decent spring. He belted two doubles, one home run, drove in four runs, paired with a .922 OPS. Hall was Lehigh Valley’s power hitter in 2021, and it’s possible the club could see him in the big leagues this season, he has yet to make his major league debut.
Jones, a southpaw who was drafted in the 18th round by the Phillies in 2017, made his club debut in August 2021. He pitched just 0.1 innings, but after a stint in the Arizona Fall League and a solid spring, it’s possible he’s ready to break into the major league roster for good this time around. In 4.1 innings, he posted a 2.08 ERA, allowed just one run and struck out five.
Bohm hasn’t been short on diamond time this spring. In fact, his total on-set appearances trail only JT Realmuto, Jean Segura, Didi Gregorius, Matt Vierling, and Bryce Harper. But in those appearances, Bohm only hit 0.136. He has as many hits as strikeouts and his defense continued to be lackluster. If Bohm keeps hitting balls in the ground, he could find his place on the opening day roster taken by Stott. His place in the line-up is very much in jeopardy.
Unlike Bohm, Crouse hasn’t enjoyed a heavy workload this spring. He only started one game, but it was disastrous. He faced six batters, walked one, struck out one, allowed three hits and allowed three runs. Immediately after the game, Crouse was demoted to minor league camp and he will likely start the season there as a starter. Maybe the Phillies want him to get reps there to fill rotational depth, but Crouse’s future is more likely in the bullpen.
It projects as a bullpen play or seventh starter.
Brogdon showed up to camp unprepared this spring. In 2021 he regularly hit 98 mph with his fastball, but this spring he only threw 93 mph.
In three appearances his command was also suspect, walking four and allowing five hits in 2.1 innings. Whether there is something mechanically wrong or that Brogdon just isn’t ready to pitch right now is uncertain. But he can’t go on like this if he wants to be ready/healthy for opening day.
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