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March 06, 2023

Phillies Opening Day 26-man roster projection, 3.0

Here's how we now see the 26-man roster breaking down for the 2023 Phillies:

It's been a month since we tried to project which 26 players the Phillies would feature on their roster when spring training ends at the end of March — and there have been a few changes.

Some players have gotten off to rough starts, and others have had minor injury setbacks. The vast majority of the team is still locked in, but a few things have shifted and we'll get into that here.

Here's how we now see the 26-man roster breaking down for the 2023 Phillies:

Catchers (2)

J.T. Realmuto, Garrett Stubbs

No changes here, as the best catcher in baseball will return and be backed up by Stubbs, who was a very solid all-around backstop in limited opportunities last season.

Infielders (7)

Rhys Hoskins, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, Alec Bohm, Edmundo Sosa, Darick Hall, Josh Harrison

Sosa and Hall are having stellar springs so far and neither should be left off the Phillies' bench. Sosa is actually getting reps in centerfield while Hall could play first a little to spell Rhys Hoskins. Harrison is 35, but he got a decent sized contract and can play everywhere and looks like he'll be a second utility man along with Sosa. The other four will be everyday starters in the infield.

Outfielders (4)

Nick Castellanos, Brandon Marsh, Kyle Schwarber, Jake Cave

The first three are the everyday players. We previously had Dalton Guthrie in the fourth outfield slot, but he's been bad to start the year and Cave has stepped up his game (hitting .429 through five). Another name to watch here is Kody Clemens, who has flashed some power early in the spring.

Starting pitchers (5)

Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Taijuan Walker, Ranger Suárez, Bailey Falter

For our first two roster projections we picked Andrew Painter to open the year as starter No. 5. He looked good in his debut last week, but it was revealed after that he had a tender elbow which is a setback for a prospect who is that highly touted.

It is still extremely possible he makes a few more appearances and earns the job, and it's also possible his main rivals Mick Abel and Griff McGarry are able to impress enough to start the season in the rotation. However, we're going to lean on the pitcher the Phillies are most familiar with and that is Falter.

As of right now, it seems most likely that he is the fifth starter and one of the others emerges from Triple-A sometime during the spring to step in if someone get hurt or if Falter stumbles. We expect this could change with a lot more spring ball left to be played.

Relief pitchers (8)

Seranthony Domínguez, José Alvarado*, Matt Strahm*, Andrew Bellatti, Connor Brogdon, Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto*, Michael Plassmeyer

Seven of the eight pitchers above are more or less completely locked into their roles in the bullpen. There is most likely one spot up for grabs, which we previously held for Falter when we thought Painter would be the fifth starter. 

For now, we're going to give the nod to Plassmeyer, who's impressed with three scoreless innings in Clearwater to open spring ball. Other names to watch for this last bullpen spot include Christopher Sanchez, Yunior Marte, Erich Uelmen and Andrew Vasquez.

Injured list (1)

Bryce Harper

Harper's Tommy John surgery will have him sidelined for a few months. When he returns he's expected to DH for a bit until he's fully healthy and can play right field at the tail end of the regular season. He is expected to report to camp this week.

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