Moves will be coming
Team should have far different look in 2020
Tick tock, gentlemen.
The nation’s sixth-largest city and its many surrounding suburbs are waiting to hear the fate of Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, pitching coach Chris Young, general manager Matt Klentak and others.
All staying? All gone? A combination of the two? Five days after a second consecutive September thud that ended the Phils season under Klentak and Kapler, there is no news.
Meanwhile, seven other major-league teams are working to fill their managerial voids: the Giants, Padres, Cubs, Mets, Royals, Pirates and Angels.
The reported list of managerial candidates is significant: Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon, Buck Showalter, Mike Matheny, Bob Geren, John Gibbons, Brad Ausmus, Don Kelly, Mark Loretta, David Ross, Dusty Wathan, Joe McEwing, Jeff Banister, Raul Ibanez, Will Venable and Carlos Beltran, among others.
Tick tock, gentlemen. Regardless of what decisions are made in the coming hours, days and weeks, the Phillies’ 2020 roster is expected to be considerably different from this year’s version.
Bryce Harper’s relentless energy and hustle will be front and center in Year 2 of his 13-year contract. J.T. Realmuto’s contract will get done because, well, he’s the game’s best all-around catcher. Aaron Nola will be in line to make 30-plus starts with a focus on throwing more strikes.
But who else comes along for the ride as the Phils look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011?
Here are some projections:
Who will be here (18 listed alphabetically)
Jose Alvarez, pitcher
Jake Arrieta, pitcher Seranthony Dominguez, pitcher
Zach Eflin, pitcher
Edgar Garcia, pitcher
Deivy Grullon, catcher
J.D. Hammer, pitcher
Bryce Harper, outfielder
Rhys Hoskins, first baseman Scott Kingery, infielder/outfielder
Andrew McCutchen, outfielder
Brad Miller, infielder/outfielder
Adam Morgan, pitcher
Hector Neris, pitcher
Aaron Nola, pitcher
J.T. Realmuto, catcher
Jean Seguram, infielder Ranger Suarez, pitcher PROJECTIONS: Realmuto’s contract should be priority No. 1, then the Phillies must get to work on the starting rotation behind Nola. Miller and Suarez earned the opportunity to stick around after being among the few highlights in another dismal September. Eflin earned his spot with a consistently good final seven starts.
McCutchen is aiming to return from ACL surgery on opening day. Morgan was stellar until his first injured-list stint (7.16 ERA in the final 16 games before a season-ending injury).
Alvarez proved durable and reliable. Depending on health and what the club does with Pat
Neshek (club option) and free agent Tommy Hunter, Garcia and Hammer could start the year in Triple A. Grullon needs to improve his defense before the club can expect a reliable backup catcher.
Who is gone (15)
Jerad Eickhoff, pitcher Maikel Franco, third baseman Odubel Herrera, outfielder Jared Hughes, pitcher
Mike Morin, pitcher
Logan Morrison, first baseman/outfielder
Pat Neshek, pitcher
Juan Nicasio, pitcher
Blake Parker, pitcher
Jose Pirela, infielder/outfielder
Edubray Ramos, pitcher
Sean Rodriguez, infielder/ outfielder
Drew Smyly, pitcher
Nick Vincent, pitcher
Nick Williams, outfielder PROJECTIONS: Franco and Williams have played their last games for the Phillies. The injuries and setbacks are too many to keep Eickhoff, a true gentleman who appeared in only 15 games total the last two seasons. It’s hard to imagine
Herrera is anything but persona non grata to the Phillies after he was charged with domestic assault. Vincent (1.93 ERA with Phils) may find his way back.
In limbo (14)
Victor Arano, pitcher
Jay Bruce, outfielder
Enyel De Los Santos, pitcher Corey Dickerson, outfielder Phil Gosselin, infielder
Adam Haseley, outfielder Cesar Hernandez, second baseman
Tommy Hunter, pitcher
Cole Irvin, pitcher
Andrew Knapp, catcher
Nick Pivetta, pitcher
Roman Quinn, outfielder Jason Vargas, pitcher
Vince Velasquez, pitcher
PROJECTIONS: The Phillies must decide if they think
Grullon (caught 17% of wouldbe base stealers, 12 passed balls in Triple A) will grow this offseason to produce more than
Knapp (29%, three passed balls, .318 on-base percentage). Hunter has age and injuries working against him. Irvin and De Los
Santos have undefined roles working against them, though Irvin’s stuff came back in September. Arano must get healthy and have a good spring, neither of which happened in 2019.
Vargas has a club option with a $2 million buyout. One would believe he was a gap start until Klentak or another GM gets serious about adding rotation pieces. Bruce could come back in a bench role. The health of
McCutchen and Quinn and how the club values Haseley are factors. Free agent Dickerson likely heads elsewhere to start.
Velasquez is a frustrating talent who could be a reliever, starter or left fielder. It appears time to move on from Hernandez and it’s hard to justify keeping Pivetta’s baggage. The Phils could do a lot worse than
Gosselin on the bench. They did the last two years.
In spirit only (1)
David Robertson, pitcher
PROJECTIONS: Robertson (elbow) likely won’t pitch again for the Phillies. The 34-year-old probably is out for 2020, the final year of his two-year, $23 million deal … or $169,118 per pitch.
Others on 40-man roster (2)
Arquimedes Gamboa, infielder
Adonis Medina, pitcher
PROJECTIONS: It may be time to pull the plug on Gamboa, a 22-year-old Double-A shortstop who hit a combined .203 the last two seasons. He earned $555,000 in 2020, or $8,284 per hit. Medina, also 22, limped to the finish line in Reading (8.24 ERA, .305 batting average against in his final seven starts). But he’s probably not going anywhere unless the Phils package him for an MLB starter.
Bryce Harper delivered in every aspect in the first season of his 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies.
Seranthony Dominguez could be anyone from an electric, late-inning option to a spectator, depending on the health of his right elbow.