Post Meetings Craziness Roster Predictions

So it is still December, and the Phillies didn’t really change their core, but over the last week things got a bit crazy.  So let’s just take a step back and figure out where we stand and who is still actually on the team, and could break camp on opening day.

Locks:

Hitters: Carlos Ruiz, Cameron Rupp, Andres Blanco, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Tyler Goeddel, Aaron Altherr, Peter Bourjos, Odubel Herrera

Pitchers: Jerad Eichoff, Jeremy Helickson, David Hernandez, Charlie Morton, Aaron Nola

I moved Cesar Hernandez into the lock group, he is pre-arb and the Phillies have shown zero indication they are looking to upgrade him at this time.  Same with the catchers, unless someone magically becomes obsessed with Ruiz or Rupp it feels like both are here to hold down opening jobs.  They seem happy in the outfield and feels like Goeddel would need to really mess up to not at least break camp.

On the pitching side, the Phillies turned 3 maybes and two second year players into a 4 man lock for the position after acquiring Hellickson and Morton for almost nothing.  David Hernandez looks to be the closer on opening day with Giles in Houston.

Highly Likely:

Hitters: Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf

Pitchers: Brett Oberholtzer, Luis Garcia

I don’t think either first baseman is going anywhere, but it is one of the few remaining spots that Klentak and the FO have to make some changes to the roster.  If any team wants either player, I am sure they could be had.  Oberholtzer is out of minor league options and they traded for him, so it seems they are at least interested in him.  I think he has the inside track at the #5 starter job, but it seems at minimum he would be a reliever for this team.

So that is 18 spots out of 25, here is how that breaks out.

C: Rupp
1B: Howard
2B: Hernandez
SS: Galvis
3B: Franco
LF: Altherr
CF: Herrera
RF: Bourjos
Bench: Ruiz, Blanco, Goeddel, Ruf
Starting Pitcher: Nola, Eickhoff, Morton, Hellickson
Relief Pitcher: Hernandez
Pitcher: Oberholtzer

That leaves room for 6 pitchers (likely relievers) and a bench bat.

Bench Competition:

Cody Asche, Darnell Sweeney, MiLB FAs

So the leader right now is probably Cody Asche, but I wouldn’t bet on him being in Philly given their other moves.  If the Phillies want a more versatile defender, then Darnell Sweeney could make the team, but they may want him getting everyday reps in the minors.  So far the minor league free agent hitter pool is underwhelming, but it is still early in the offseason.

The Bullpen:

RH: Jimmy Cordero, Alec Asher, Jeanmar Gomez, Dalier Hinojosa, Michael Mariot, Colton Murray, Hector Neris, Edubray Ramos, Ernest Frieri, Reinier Roibal, David Buchanan, Luis Garcia
LH: 
Daniel Stumpf, Elvis Araujo, Mario Hollands, James Russell

I am going to operate in a world where Adam Morgan, Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez, Jake Thompson, and Zach Eflin are all in AAA as starting pitchers, so they are out for now at least.  Given that, it seems that Asher and Buchanan would be in the competition for the bullpen.

Let’s start on the left handed side.  Hollands and Araujo both ended the year injured, Hollands might be ready for opening day and Araujo is healthy, but struggling in winter ball.  I think Stumpf could break camp if he can throw strikes because they like him vs righties and lefties.  They made Russell a priority, so I could see a scenario where Araujo and Hollands go to AAA since they have options and it leaves the Phillies more flexible into the season.

From the right side, it is really difficult to see Ramos or Cordero making this team, even if their spring is stellar.  That leaves 4 right handed spots up for grabs.  Luis Garcia has good stuff, but he couldn’t find the strikezone.  Hector Neris was really good except for a high home run rate for the Phillies last year.  Mariot has solid stuff and didn’t get a chance in Kansas City last year, but he doesn’t have good enough stuff that he can survive being off.  Asher and Buchanan join Gomez and Hinojosa in a battle for the long man spot.  Ernesto Frieri has been very much not good for a while, but was once good.  Colton Murray is a reliever and Roibal is depth.  It really is anyone’s competition and the Phillies are almost certainly going to add more non-roster invite minor league free agents to the competition.

Prediction: Stumpf, Araujo, Gomez, Neris, Garcia, Mariot

I think given the depth, Stumpf makes it and I like Araujo with his stuff over Russell who was bad last year, but I feel zero confidence about it.  Gomez isn’t great, but he is serviceable and Neris has solid potential.  I don’t know if the new regime will like Luis Garcia, but he throws 98 and has pitched in the majors which counts for something here.  Mariot has solid enough stuff to make it, but I think his spot goes to someone not yet on the roster.

So that is a long way of saying that the Phillies are mostly done on the hitting and starting pitching side after this week.  The bullpen is still wide open and I would expect Matt Klentak to continue to churn through the waiver wire and free agency to bring in more guys who throw the ball hard.

Now this is just the opening day roster, there will be a lot of turnover as we get into the season, so I will leave you with some players expected based on this model to be in AAA:

J.P. Crawford, Andrew Knapp, Darnell Sweeney, Jake Thompson, Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez, Zach Eflin, Adam Morgan, Edubray Ramos, Nick Williams, Jimmy Cordero, Colton Murray, Alec Asher, Mario Hollands, Tom Windle, Cameron Perkins

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

8 comments

  1. Nick M

    The problem with starting Bourjos is the serious lack of power in this lineup. Now, this lineup in August will look much better than the lineup in April but lets predict who his where.

    APRIL
    2B: Hernandez
    RF: Bourjos
    CF: Herrera
    3B: Franco
    1B: Howard
    LF: Altherr
    C: Rupp
    SS: Galvis

    AUGUST
    CF: Herrera
    SS: Crawford
    RF: Williams
    3B: Franco
    1B: Howard
    LF: Altherr
    C: Knapp
    2B: Galvis/Hernendez

    OR….and I know you don’t like Herrera at second but…

    APRIL
    2B: Herrera
    CF: Bourjos
    3B: Franco
    1B: Howard
    RF: Altherr
    LF: Goedell/Asche platoon
    C: Rupp
    SS: Galvis

    AUGUST
    2B: Herrera
    SS: Crawford
    RF: Williams
    3B: Franco
    1B: Howard
    LF: Altherr
    C: Knapp
    CF: Bourjous/Quinn

    or

    CF: Quinn
    2B: Herrera
    SS: Crawford
    RF: Williams
    3B: Franco
    1B: Howard
    LF: Altherr
    C: Knapp

    Even better. (based on Quinn being healthy and good)

    In 2017, if you rank Hernendez, Galvis, Herrera, Quinn, Tocci, Altherr, Williams and Goedell by upside potential, wouldn’t you put Hernendez and Galvis at the bottom of that list? If so, replacing either one of those with Herrera at second, you can improve the lineup as a whole with the other options in the outfield. Obviously a lot has to happen and go right but I don’t think that is a stretch.

    I’d also like to see Asher as a reliever. He doesn’t have the upside of the triple A staff and could be better than Garcia and Neris.

    Anyway, I am excited going forward.

    • Ian

      Wicked lineup, but who are we confident in coming up this year before September? Especially if the pigs are in the playoffs. Knapp Crawford and Williams could all easily need a full season in AAA.

  2. Keith

    I am so excited that our AAA rotation will be a bunch of prospects rather than a bunch of org filler hoping to get a few spot starts here and there.

    • Yes, Allentown has never seen a roster remotely as good as it will be in 2016. We’ll have to enjoy it while we can — I think they’ll mostly be in Philly by August.

      • Rei De Bastoni

        But allentown, a lot of them will be replaced by guys from AA! 😀

  3. If the 2016 Phillies played 2016 Lehigh Valley 162 times – how many games would they win (assuming no LHV players were promoted)?

    • dlhunter

      I’d guess Lehigh Valley only wins 30 or 40 of those games. Let’s not forget there is once again a real-life major league rotation in Philly with bonafide, competent-ish starters (at least 1-4, not sure Oberholtzer counts).

  4. Tim

    Sweeney and Hernandez can battle it out in spring training I think Sweeney can win. The bullpen will be the one thing that changes alot this yr. Once VV and Thompson come up that when the trades will start for Morton etc.