Projected Opening Day Roster
The Phillies are heading north following today’s Grapefruit League game. I’ve written a lot recently about the Phillies’ roster battles in the bullpen and bench — and how they might not name a closer — but if you want my best guess at the Opening Day roster here it is:
- Rotation (five): Jeremy Hellickson, Aaron Nola, Charlie Morton, Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez.
- Bullpen (seven): David Hernandez, Dalier Hinojosa, Jeanmar Gomez, Brett Oberholtzer, James Russell, Daniel Stumpf and Hector Neris.
- Catchers (two): Cameron Rupp and Carlos Ruiz.
- Infielders (seven): Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf, Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Maikel Franco, Andres Blanco and Emmanuel Burris.
- Outfielders (four): Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos, Tyler Goeddel and Cedric Hunter.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Will Venable edged Hunter because of his big league service time, but Hunter is a fantastic story. Read it here.
But reading between the lines it sure seems like Pete Mackanin wants Hunter.
“Cedric Hunter has been a good surprise,” Mackanin said today, asked who has surprised or impressed him in camp. “He’s given us quality at-bats for the whole spring. I know he’s dipped a little bit in the last few days, but he just gives you good at-bats and he plays a solid defense. I like the way he moves around out there. There are a few more days left, but he’s the guy that caught everybody’s eye. I’m happy for him. We’ll see after the next three days whether he’s going to be with us or not.”
Mackanin said yesterday he could see Hunter as his leadoff hitter, if he makes the team. He also said nobody in camp has had better at-bats than Hunter, other than Maikel Franco. That’s high praise.
I have Burriss on my list because he can play both the infield and outfield and Mackanin has said he likes that flexibility in National League games. Otherwise, the only utility infielder is Blanco.
I think the Phillies send Andrew Bailey and Ernesto Frieri to the Minor Leagues because it gives them some depth.