Phillies Opening Day Roster Announced

The Phillies 25-man roster has been finalized:

Starting Lineup
C – Carlos Ruiz
1B – Ryan Howard
2B – Chase Utley
SS – Jimmy Rollins
3B – Cody Asche
LF – Domonic Brown
CF – Ben Revere
RF – Marlon Byrd

Rotation
Cliff Lee
A.J. Burnett
Kyle Kendrick
Roberto Hernandez

Bullpen
Antonio Bastardo
Justin De Fratus
Jake Diekman
Mario Hollands
Brad Lincoln
Jeff Manship
Jonathan Papelbon
B.J. Rosenberg

Bench
Tony Gwynn, Jr.
Cesar Hernandez
John Mayberry, Jr.
Wil Nieves
Jayson Nix

The inclusion of non-roster invitee Mario Hollands is a significant surprise. He’s a 25-year-old pitcher who put up nice numbers in 2013 between high-A Clearwater and double-A Reading (132 IP, 2.86 ERA, 114 K, 32 BB, 1.23 WHIP). His stuff isn’t remarkable and he only has 12.2 career innings at the AAA level, but with Cole Hamels and Mike Adams on the shelf to start the season, the Phillies had an extra rotation spot available. Bill Baer had a nice overview of Hollands’ repertoire earlier this month which also includes a look at the other NRI pitcher to make the team, Jeff Manship.

There’s nothing to be lost in carrying Hollands on the roster and extending the opportunity to evaluate him at the top level while reaping the benefits of a funky delivery that has yet to be figured out. With pitching health being a fickle beast and relief arms being notoriously unpredictable, there’s still every reason to expect guys like Shawn Camp, Phillippe Aumont, and (fingers crossed) Kenny Giles will have their chances to produce at the Major League level at some point during the 2014 season.

Another notable reality highlighted by the release of the roster is that one of those bench bats will be in the lineup for each of the first three games due to the horrors of interleague play and the designated hitter rule. This could very well mean that Mayberry will start against a RHP, Texas Rangers’ opening day starter Tanner Scheppers, on the very first day of the season. There’s a plethora of adjectives that could be used to describe that situation, I’ll go with unfortunate.

One final takeaway from the roster: Ruiz, Howard, Utley, and Rollins are all healthy and expected to be in the opening day lineup for the first time since 2010.

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8 comments

  1. Francisco (FC)

    March 29, 2014 01:23 PM

    What happened to the need for a left handed power bat off the bench?

  2. Joecatz

    March 29, 2014 05:32 PM

    Would not surprise me to see Gwynn get the nod in LF on opening day and see Brown DH vs the RHP.

    • Corinne Landrey

      March 29, 2014 05:39 PM

      That’s certainly a possibility, albeit one I’d still describe as unfortunate.
      Gwynn career vs. RHP: .598 OPS
      Mayberry career vs RHP: .615 OPS

  3. SirAlden

    March 29, 2014 05:39 PM

    Which of these players can be sent to the minors without going through wavers or free agency?

    Is Shawn Camp going to AAA?

    Thanks

    • Corinne Landrey

      March 29, 2014 05:53 PM

      Shawn Camp is headed to AAA. A few of the key names who still have option years remaining include Cesar Hernandez, Cody Asche, Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman, Mario Hollands, and B.J. Rosenberg.

      I believe the minor league contract guys like Gwynn, Nix, and Manship can also be optioned without clearing waivers, but I’d need to check on that.

  4. Jack

    March 29, 2014 06:18 PM

    Man they somehow managed to take the bench that was speculated at the beginning of spring that was already bad and make it even worse.

    • Bob

      March 30, 2014 12:46 AM

      The bench is constructed much better than in past years. Remember Wigginton, Laynce Nix, Jim Thome, Ben Francisco, Hector Luna, Juan Pierre, etc.? They all had little to no athleticism and could not play a lick of defense. RAJ had previously devalued defense to an extreme degree, which led us to -102 DRS accord Fangrapsh for 2013 — 30 out of 30 teams; 2012 -8 — 19/30 teams; 2011 – 59 — 28/30 teams. With an older team, more prone to injury, you need to have more balance between offense and defense than previous incarnations of the Phillies particularly when you have as much invested in pitching as the Phils. It makes no sense to have top notch pitching if the fielding is awful. Heck, Baseball Prospectus still projects the Phils w/ a -15 FRAA in 2014– worst in NL. I wonder if BP will revise their projections on Phils defense because Abreu and Frandsen no longer on team . Even so, this is the best bench we’ve had in years in terms of balance.

  5. SteveH

    March 31, 2014 10:45 AM

    Am I the only one worried that the bench has negative power?

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