Thursday is the deadline for teams to add players on minor league deals to the 40 man roster. The Phillies roster currently stands at 34, and they could free up more room if needed. It is unlikely the Phillies will use all of the available spots but unlikely.
The Players Eligible:
Pitchers: Manny Martinez, Ervis Manzanillo, Perci Garner, Steven Inch, Ulises Joaquin, Colin Kleven, Lino Martinez, Miguel Nunez, Ethan Stewart, Kevin Walter, Jesse Biddle, Adam Loewen, Adam Morgan, Colton Murray, Mike Nesseth, Ryan O’Sullivan, Nefi Ogando, Seth Rosin, Kyle Simon, Austin Wright, Tyler Knigge
Who Are They Going to Protect:
The Locks: Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Nefi Ogando
Biddle is a no-brainer here, despite his struggles there is a major league pitcher there. Morgan was not sharp in his first time on the mound in over a year, but now has a full offseason to prepare, the Phillies have invested too much to let him go. Ogando show in Fall League that he could impact a major league bullpen very soon.
On the Fence: Colton Murray
Murray could be a major league middle reliever very soon, he could also need more time. The question is whether upside is worth taking a 40 man spot on the off chance someone carries him all year. I would probably protect him, but I am not going to cry if they don’t.
Have Talent, But Likely Won’t Stick: Manny Martinez, Miguel Nunez, Ethan Stewart, Adam Loewen, Seth Rosin, Austin Wright, Tyler Knigge, Willians Astudillo, Brian Pointer
The problem with taking a guy in the Rule 5 draft is not just that you have to use a roster spot all year, but you also risk ruining any developmental upside with the limited playing time. The calculus is then this balance of upside and safety. Manny Martinez and Ethan Stewart have the highest relief upside, but both have huge gaps between their current control and what they need to be major leaguers which make the year off seem a bit prohibitive. Miguel Nunez and Adam Loewen are both back end starting pitchers, Loewen has previous upside, but he has tapped into that and Nunez is young, but neither could step into a major league rotation right now. If they aren’t in a rotation their reliever profile really is just not that exciting to wait a year on. Rosin was taken last year and is largely the same guy, Wright had stuff but is mostly average right now, and Knigge has a hard fastball and not much else. Collectively they look like three middle relievers, but they lack the safety you might want in taking that upside. Astudillo is a very interesting player, but no team is carrying a 1B only hitter who is contact oriented who has never played above Low-A. Brian Pointer has enough tools to see a second division or 4th outfielder profile if you squint enough, but he just put up a 26.7% K% in Clearwater and would be horribly overmatched in the majors. He lacks the elite tool to see a team holding and stashing him.