PhilsBaseball.com www.philsbaseball.com

Predicting the Phillies 40-man roster
by Scott Butler 11/17/16

Phillies 40 man roster

UPDATE: OK, so my predictions weren't exactly perfect. Here is what I missed on:

Oops.

The Phillies have big decisions to make and not much time left to make them - they have until Friday to declare which players to add to their 40-man roster. These aren't headline-grabbing decisions and most fans won't know or care what happens, but you better believe the Phillies front office cares.

Just how big are these decisions? Big enough that the Phillies were willing to eat up to nearly $10 million of Matt Harrison's salary just to save one roster spot. If the Phillies kept Harrison on the 40-man through Spring Training, their insurance policy was such that they would have owed just 25% of his $13.2 million 2017 salary ($3.3 million). The Phils reportedly worked a deal with the insurance company, but it was still a very costly decision.

Before moving forward, here's a quick primer on the rules per Jonathan Mayo of mlb.com:

Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $50,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $25,000.

The decision on who to keep is a complicated one and somewhat of a calculated gamble. Once they decide on who they want on the big league roster, it's a matter of deciding who they can't afford to lose and which players they think can sneak through the Rule 5 Draft.

A great example is Carlos Tocci, a 21-year-old center fielder who the Phillies signed out of Venezuela at age 16. The Phillies like Tocci, but he had only played at the lower single-A levels and they took the chance that no team would be willing to keep him on their major league roster for an entire year. The Phils were lucky last year, but that may not be the case this year. Tocci hit well enough at the high-A level last season that a team might be willing to take the chance on him. It's those "bubble" players that are the toughest choices.

What you don't want to happen is for a player like Odubel Herrera, who won the freaking batting title with a .321 average at double-A with Texas, to get drafted and become a foundation piece for another team. It's not that the Rangers didn't want Herrera, but they just ran out of room.

Anyhow, let's play the guessing game with the Phillies 40-man roster to determine who stays and who might go.

Over the offseason, the Phillies removed the following names off the roster: Ryan Howard, David Hernandez, Matt Harrison, AJ Ellis, Peter Bourjos, Charlie Morton.

That leaves us with this current roster:

Pitchers
Elvis Araujo
Alec Asher
David Buchanan
Jimmy Cordero
Zach Eflin
Jerad Eickhoff
Luis Garcia
Jeanmar Gomez
Severino Gonzalez
Jeremy Hellickson
Phil Klein
Michael Mariot
Adam Morgan
Hector Neris
Pat Neshek
Aaron Nola
Edubray Ramos
Joely Rodriguez
Jake Thompson
Vince Velasquez

Catchers
Jorge Alfaro
Cameron Rupp

Infielders
Maikel Franco
Freddy Galvis
Cesar Hernandez
Tommy Joseph
Howie Kendrick

Outfielders
Aaron Altherr
Cody Asche
Tyler Goeddel
Odubel Herrera
Roman Quinn

Now let's remove these pieces: Elvis Araujo, David Buchanan, Severino Gonzalez, Phil Klein, Cody Asche.

It's possible that another team would take anyone of these players as decent enough pieces, but it's not a huge loss if the Phils do lose them.

Let's also add Andres Blanco, who is a free agent, but the Phillies need a bench player and I think they will re-sign him through free agency.

Before we get to the prospects to add, we do need to fill a major league roster (I'm sure that's like a requirement or something).

We have our five starters (Hellickson, Eickhoff, Velasquez, Nola, Thompson) and after removing Severino Gonzalez and David Buchanan, that still leaves us with three depth pieces (Asher, Eflin, Morgan), so we are good on the starting pitching front. Morgan is about as "eh" you are going to get, but he is a lefty who can fill in if we need him.

The bullpen in this scenario (which includes Adam Morgan and Alec Asher as bullpen pieces if necessary) has nine arms: Neris, Gomez, Ramos, Rodriguez, Cordero, Morgan, Asher, Mariot, Garcia.

We will need someone to backup Cameron Rupp and that someone will be Andrew Knapp. This is an odd situation because Knapp played at triple-A last year, but that is where Jorge Alfaro will start next season. The Phillies aren't going to demote Knapp to double-A and they want to keep Knapp for his bat, so he needs somewhere to go. That somewhere is the big leagues.

After adding Andres Blanco, our infield (Andres Blanco, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Tommy Joseph) can still use one extra bat.

After removing Cody Asche (sorry bud), our outfield (Aaron Altherr, Tyler Goeddel, Odubel Herrera, Roman Quinn, Howie Kendrick) can also use another bat.

Once we add place holders for one extra infielder, one extra outfielder, and a backup catcher, that gives us enough for a 25-man roster and brings our overall roster to 31.

Here's how that looks along with all of the changes:

Pitchers
Elvis Araujo
Alec Asher
David Buchanan
Jimmy Cordero
Zach Eflin
Jerad Eickhoff
Luis Garcia
Jeanmar Gomez
Severino Gonzalez
Jeremy Hellickson
Phil Klein
Michael Mariot
Adam Morgan
Hector Neris
Pat Neshek
Aaron Nola
Edubray Ramos
Joely Rodriguez
Jake Thompson
Vince Velasquez

Catchers
Jorge Alfaro
Cameron Rupp
Andrew Knapp

Infielders
Andres Blanco (free agent signing)
Maikel Franco
Freddy Galvis
Cesar Hernandez
Tommy Joseph
ADD INFIELD BENCH BAT

Outfielders
Aaron Altherr
Cody Asche
Tyler Goeddel
Odubel Herrera
Roman Quinn
Howie Kendrick
ADD OUTFIELD BENCH BAT

So that leaves 9 roster spots and here are my best guesses at who those players will be (highlighted):

Drew Anderson

Jimmy Cordero OFF

Severino Gonzalez

Phil Klein

Andres Blanco OFF

NO INFIELD BAT

Cody Asche

Carlos Tocci

Pitchers
Alec Asher
Jimmy Cordero
Zach Eflin
Jerad Eickhoff
Luis Garcia
Jeanmar Gomez
Jeremy Hellickson
Michael Mariot
Adam Morgan
Hector Neris
Pat Neshek
Aaron Nola
Edubray Ramos
Joely Rodriguez
Jake Thompson
Vince Velasquez
NICK PIVETTA
BEN LIVELY
ELNIERY GARCIA
MARK APPEL
RICARDO PINTO

ALBERTO TIRADO

Catchers
Jorge Alfaro
Cameron Rupp
ANDREW KNAPP

Infielders
Andres Blanco
Maikel Franco
Freddy Galvis
Cesar Hernandez
Tommy Joseph
ADD INFIELD BENCH BAT
JESMUEL VALENTIN

Outfielders
Aaron Altherr
Tyler Goeddel
Odubel Herrera
Roman Quinn
Howie Kendrick
ADD OUTFIELD BENCH BAT
NICK WILLIAMS
DYLAN COZENS

CARLOS TOCCI

But wait, doesn't that add up to 41? Why yes it does. The Phillies have to get their roster down to 40, but I don't, so how about you go through the list and make the final cut yourself. Go ahead, chief, and let me know who you decided to cut in the comments.

And when the real list comes out tomorrow, you can destroy me in the comments when my list doesn't come close.

More Phillies articles

comments powered by Disqus

Phillies Win/Loss Chart Ready to test your knowledge and become a better Phillies fan? I think you will enjoy this. Available for pre-order now!