On Sunday I got into a large rant about why the Phillies should not keep Alec Asher because of the 40 man roster math. It feels like has been easier to make up a 40 man roster that works as a 40 man roster in terms of protecting players from the Rule 5 draft. So let’s do some basic roster math and actually look at what is available.
To start I made some basic assumptions:
- No free agents were retained
- No free agents were signed (this won’t be true but for now we need the spots)
- Matt Harrison will not be retained for his money
To start I divided the existing roster up into Keep, Cut/FA, and Limbo. Here is the first rough pass.
Cut/FA (16): Elvis Araujo, David Buchanan, Matt Harrison, Jeremy Hellickson, David Hernandez, Frank Herrmann, Dalier Hinojosa, Charlie Morton, Patrick Schuster, A.J. Ellis, Emmanuel Burris, Andres Blanco, Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf, Peter Bourjos, Jimmy Paredes
Limbo (10): Alec Asher, Luis Garcia, Severino Gonzalez, Phil Klein, Colton Murray, Adam Morgan, Cody Asche, Joely Rodriguez, Jimmy Cordero, Michael Mariot
Keep (18): Zach Eflin, Jerad Eickhoff, Jeanmar Gomez, Hector Neris, Aaron Nola, Edubray Ramos, Jake Thompson, Vince Velasquez, Jorge Alfaro, Cameron Rupp, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Tommy Joseph, Aaron Altherr, Tyler Goeddel, Odubel Herrera, Roman Quinn
I stayed fairly conservative and threw people in the Limbo bucket if I had any doubt. I am now going to put the Rule 5 eligible players into the Lock and Under Consideration groups. Again being conservative and for now only adding the locks.
Locks (7): Andrew Knapp, Dylan Cozens, Ben Lively, Elniery Garcia, Ricardo Pinto, Nick Williams, Nick Pivetta
Under Consideration (10): Jesmuel Valentin, Malquin Canelo, Andrew Pullin, Drew Anderson, Seranthony Dominguez, Mark Appel, Carlos Tocci, Alberto Tirado, Cameron Perkins, Miguel Nunez
We are off to a good start, that is 25 locks and 20 Limbo and Under Consideration. That is only 5 cuts, right? Before just making some cuts, let’s build a team with this group of players putting all the locks either in the majors or minors. Reminder we are not building to win yet, we are building to utilize roster spots.
A couple things immediately are apparent. We are short 4 bench spots and 4 relief spots. The rotation really could use a veteran arm over say someone like Eflin that bumps everyone down a peg and gives resilience if Nola is not ready. To makes this work one of Alfaro or Knapp needed to be in the majors. The offense is about what the Phillies are running out now, and that just isn’t going to work. We also don’t have 4 bench players in player pool. But let’s start with bullpen. If the Phillies go with their current available resources this is how it plays out for me:
- Joely Rodriguez – Even if he is not the guy in the end, they need lefty so he is at minimum our placeholder
- Michael Mariot – Mariot gave up 6 runs to the Mets on August 27, since then 10 G 8 IP 5 H 1 ER 5 BB 11 K. He isn’t particularly good, but the slider is more interesting to me than anyone else.
- Severino Gonzalez – He is young, he throws hard-ish, this was his first year in relief. He is also bad. Either way this is a righty take up his spot.
- Phil Klein/Alec Asher/Adam Morgan – What do you want your long man to look like?
For now let’s keep the long men around and cut Colton Murray and Luis Garcia, then send Jimmy Cordero to the minors. The only reason I can see the Phillies not keeping Cordero is if his injury is worse than we think. That brings our total pool down to 43 and our minors at 9 (this is important because our minors are capped at 15). We can now safely say that Cody Asche or Cody Asche’s replacement is going to go the majors. That leaves 3 bench spots to the majors taking our count up to 46 because we don’t have those bats in our pool. This could be an outfield bat that bumps someone like Altherr to the bench.
So without trades or rule 5 picks here are your candidates for 6 remaining 40 man roster spots all of which would be in the minors (I put Adam Morgan in the majors but you can swap him for Klein or Asher):
- Veteran FA Starting Pitcher (bumps Eflin to minors)
- Alec Asher
- Phil Klein
- Jesmuel Valentin
- Malquin Canelo
- Andrew Pullin
- Drew Anderson
- Seranthony Dominguez
- Mark Appel
- Carlos Tocci
- Alberto Tirado
- Cameron Perkins
- Miguel Nunez
- Anyone I cut earlier to make room
This fits most of the team, but it leaves them with no bullpen depth in any way and a young starting rotation.
Photo of Carlos Tocci by Baseball Betsy