Phillies opening day roster may be set after apparent final cuts of camp
Phillies appear to solidify opening day roster with final cuts of camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Opening day is just three days away and the Phillies began the week by making their apparent final cuts of camp.
Utilityman Kody Clemens, left-handed pitcher Michael Plassmeyer and right-handers Erich Uelmen and Luis Ortiz were optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley. All are on the 40-man roster.
Scott Kingery, infielders Jim Haley and Weston Wilson and catchers John Hicks and Aramis Garcia were reassigned to minor-league camp. These players are not on the Phillies' 40-man roster and were in camp as non-roster invitees.
The infield transactions mean that both Jake Cave and Dalton Guthrie will make the Phils' opening-day roster, unless they add another player cut by another team between now and Thursday.
Here are the 13 position players left:
• Catchers J.T. Realmuto and Garrett Stubbs
• Infielders Darick Hall, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, Alec Bohm, Edmundo Sosa and Josh Harrison
• Outfielders Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh, Nick Castellanos, Cave and Guthrie
Rhys Hoskins' season-ending ACL tear opened a spot for Guthrie to make the team as the backup centerfielder. It also likely opened the door for much more playing time for Cave as another left-handed starting option in the outfield against right-handed pitching. Since Hall is needed to play first base, the DH spot would be open in those situations for Schwarber or Castellanos.
The 30-year-old Cave has produced all throughout Grapefruit League play this month, going 22 for 50 (.440) with four doubles, three triples, three home runs and 14 RBI.
On the pitching staff, cuts of Plassmeyer, Ortiz and Uelmen give the final bullpen nod, for now, to left-hander Andrew Vasquez, who's struck out 14 in 10 innings this spring. The deciding factor could have been the need for fellow lefty Matt Strahm to begin the season as the Phillies' No. 5 starter because of injuries to Ranger Suarez and Andrew Painter. Strahm has been stretched out to about three innings.
The five starters to begin the season are Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Taijuan Walker, Bailey Falter and Strahm.
The projected eight-man bullpen is Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado (LH), Gregory Soto (LH), Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Bellatti, Connor Brogdon, Yunior Marte and Vasquez (LH).
Marte and Vasquez were both acquired from the Giants over the offseason. Marte has impressed in camp with the combination of his slider and 98 mph fastball.
The only other players left in Phillies camp are the ones certain or likely to open the season on the injured list: Bryce Harper (elbow), Rhys Hoskins (knee), Ranger Suarez (elbow), Andrew Painter (elbow), Nick Nelson (hamstring), Cristopher Sanchez (triceps), Rafael Marchan (right hand), Noah Song (back) and Will Toffey (separated shoulder).