Phillies roster projection: How will new faces fill in around the World Series core?

The core has been mostly the same since the six-game World Series ended, but in the following two months the Phillies changed 30 percent of their 40-man roster. Some of this was inevitable. Some things were surprising. But five weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla., the Phillies have a good idea of ​​who they’ll be taking into the 2023 season.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be roster drama in spring training. The fifth starter decision could become one of the most intriguing calls in recent Phillies memory. There may be some bank jobs up for grabs, but most importantly, this spring the Phillies need to take stock of what they have beyond the opening day roster. You know – last year is proof – it will take more than 26 players to reach the organization’s ambitious goals.

A lot can change by March 30th. But after a month of roster movement, here’s what the Phillies’ initial roster projects look like.


catcher (2)

JT Realmuto, Garrett Stubbs


JT Realmuto (Bill Streicher / USA Today)

Rafael Marchan still has one minor league option year left, so his advancement in 2023 is a priority. He can spend the entire season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley while also serving as a solid depth. The Phillies know Marchan can handle their pitchers. He’ll have a longer look at it in spring training as both Realmuto (USA) and Stubbs (Israel) are scheduled to compete in the World Baseball Classic.

The Phillies signed John Hicks, a 33-year veteran with some stint in the majors, to a minor league deal. He could mate with Marchan in Lehigh Valley.

Infielders (7)

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Edmundo Sosa (Bill Streicher / USA Today)

Rhys Hoskins, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, Alec Bohm, Edmundo Sosa, Dalton Guthrie, Darick Hall

Sosa will play, especially early in the season. If the Phillies decide to rotate players as batsman-designated, Sosa would see an extended stint at third base. Bohm could be the DH, or on days when Hoskins is the DH, Bohm slips to first base, leaving Sosa in third and the Phillies having better defensive alignment.

Guthrie is a natural infielder so he’s listed here, but there’s a good chance he’ll see more outfield than infield time in 2023. Sosa is the primary reserve here, so he’s the go-to choice if someone’s resting or injured. Guthrie can play anywhere on the field.

Hall’s addition to the roster depends on how the Phillies decide they want to manage the DH in Bryce Harper’s absence. If they rotate players, Hall could fall back to triple A for depth. But if they want Hall to be the DH against righties, then he has a spot.

outfield player (4)

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Jake Cave (Jay Biggerstaff / USA Today)

Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh, Nick Castellanos, Jake Cave

Perhaps Cave has a slight advantage over Hall because they have similar offensive profiles, but Cave offers more defensive reach. He can play the corner in the outfield and even stand in midfield when needed. Cave, a waiver earlier this winter, signed a split deal with Baltimore that pays him $950,000 in the majors and a sizable salary in the minors. The Orioles thought that would prevent teams from claiming him. The Phillies did it anyway. So you like him.

Like Hall, Cave hits right-handers better than left-handers. Hall has more pop. It will depend on what the Phillies value more. But it’s hard to see both on the list. Right now they are both on this one. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Phillies went after a fourth outfielder in the spring either through a veteran on a minor league deal or a trade. They still have Símon Muzziotti and Jhailyn Ortiz in the 40-man squad but both are developing players.

The fourth fielder has risen to prominence in the early months of the season as Harper continues his rehab.

rotary (5)

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Andrew Painter ((Mike Janes / Four Seam Images via Associated Press)

Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, Taijuan Walker, Andrew Painter

It is real. People within the organization were consistent when asked about Painter and Opening Day. it’s real will it happen No teenager has pitched for the Phillies in 42 years. Only three teenagers have started a game in the majors since 1990: Todd Van Poppel, Felix Hernández and Julio Urías. Painter turns 20 on April 10th. If he’s the fifth starter, he could make his April 4 debut at Yankee Stadium. It’s a bold plan. In addition to keeping the door open, the Phillies have invited speculation.

This is not the task of the painter to lose. The Phillies have a qualified candidate in Bailey Falter who will somehow flow into the rotation situation in 2023. Painter has workload concerns; He logged a total of 103 2/3 innings last season in the minors. But the Phillies have been thinking about it for months. Because of that, they’ve pushed Painter to reach the end of the minor league season – to feel the pain of starting games for six months. You can use a six-man rotation or skip Painter. There are ways to do this.

So it could be Painter’s job to win. Team president Dave Dombrowski has a history of pushing his best young pitchers, and there are some within the Phillies organization who believe Dombrowski believes in the idea. Nevertheless, Painter has to prove in the spring that he can fit in so quickly. His fastball carried him through the minors last season and he has elite character. But big league hitters can mash fastballs. There is still work to be done on his second places. It could boil down to this: if Painter only has that many innings in 2023, the Phillies could see spending one of them in the minors as a waste.

It would be a damn good thing if he made the team.

Bullpen (8)

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Craig Kimbrel (D Ross Cameron / USA Today)

Seranthony Domínguez, José Alvarado, Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto, Matt Strahm, Connor Brogdon, Andrew Bellatti, Bailey Falter

It’s hard to remember a time when, barring injuries, the Phillies locked up seven bullpen spots more than a month before spring training. But that’s how it is now. Bellatti, who was a find as a minor league free agent in 2022, is a capable center helper. He had the 13th-best strikeout percentage of any reliever in the majors last season. He’s the seventh man in this bullpen. Not bad.

There are some questions about the bullpen. Rob Thomson has to manage egos to make sure every high-leverage helper is happy in their role. The Phillies had 11 different save-earning pitchers in 2022, and while the number may not be as high in 2023, everyone in the bullpen is expected to make a leap at key points. Can Thomson and the pitching coaches help Kimbrel enter the next phase of his career as a non-traditional closer? Can the greater depth help ease the pressure on Domínguez and Alvarado after the massive workload in 2022?

There’s no shortage of eighth place options in this bullpen. Falter is currently on the list because he is considered one of the club’s top 13 pitchers. He can serve as a long man early in the season to protect one or two of the starters who may not be fully stretched out. He might slip into rotation for a spot start every two weeks. Everything is on the table when Painter is involved in the pitching plans.

If it’s not Falter, there’s Nick Nelson, who did well as a long man all of last season. Cristopher Sánchez could transition to a full-time bullpen role. Sam Coonrod signed a $775,000 deal despite feeling like a commercial candidate in the spring. Erich Uelmen, Luis Ortiz and Andrew Vasquez waived claims or purchases and occupy 40-man places. Yunior Marte throws hard and can pitch several innings. All of these pitchers will shuffle from Philadelphia to Allentown and back during the season.

Injured list (1)

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Bryce HarperBill Streicher/USA Today

Bryce Harper

Everyone will have a pool on the Harper return date from the Tommy John surgery. After all, he’s a showman. So… let’s say June 23 — against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

(Top photo by Andrew Painter: Mike Janes / Four Seam Images via Associated Press)

https://theathletic.com/4077123/2023/01/11/phillies-roster-projection-2023/ Phillies roster projection: How will new faces fill in around the World Series core?

Russell Falcon

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