Phillies 2022 Opening Day Roster Predictions: Who’s In and Who’s Out?
We are now less than a week away from the start of the 2022 MLB season. After an offseason that featured the Philadelphia Phillies going over the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history, bringing in both Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, along with a few key bullpen arms, the Fightins’ are primed to end a decade-long playoff drought this year.
Historically, MLB teams need to trim their roster down to 26 players by Opening Day. On September 1st, the roster size increases by two. Since the league was locked out the majority of the offseason, this year the MLB will allow teams to carry a total of 28 players into Opening Day.
The Phillies look like they will be busy right up to the end of Spring Training. The emergence of Bryson Stott and Mickey Moniak has left Joe Girardi with several key position decisions to make before camp breaks in Clearwater, Florida. From there, the Phillies need to trim down their bullpen, with key decisions surrounding Connor Brogdon, James Norwood, Damon Jones, and more.
So…Who’s In, and Who’s Out?
Phillies Opening Day 28-Man Roster Prediction
- JT Realmuto
- Garrett Stubbs
JT Realmuto will enter his fourth season with the Phillies in 2022. Overall, he has lived up to his nickname as the best catcher in baseball but will be looking to bounce back after a rough 2021 season where he battled injuries on his way to slashing .263/.343/.439 with a .782 OBP.
Realmuto is still hitting the ball hard, with a 44.7% HardH% in 2021, and will continue to do that in 2022. He’s hit .308/.357/.538 in 26 at-bats this spring, with 1 HR, 3 RBIs, and 8 hits. JT will have a ton of pressure off of him in 2022 with the addition of Castellanos and Schwarber’s bats in the lineup, so keep an eye out for a bounce-back season from the man behind the plate.
Garrett Stubbs is considered the leading candidate for the backup catcher role at this moment in time. Stubbs was acquired back in November from the Houston Astros in exchange for Logan Cerny. The 28-year old has played three seasons with Houston, logging 87 at-bats. He’s hitting .133/.133/.333 in 15 plate appearances this season, and should be getting the spot behind JT Realmuto on Opening Day.
- Rhys Hoskins (1B)
- Jean Segura (2B)
- Didi Gregorius (SS)
- Bryson Stott (3B)
- Nick Maton (Bench INF/UTIL)
- Johan Camargo (Bench INF/UTIL)
This is where it gets interesting. Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, and Didi Gregorius are the three locks for the roster and I would think that Bryson Stott has just about locked up his spot at third base with the way he’s been hitting the ball this Spring. Stott is slashing .522/.607/.739 line in 23 at-bats this spring, with four runs scored, 12 hits, two doubles, one home run, and three RBIs.
While Bryson Stott’s stock is rising, Alec Bohm’s is declining. He’s hit just .200/.286/.360 in 25 at-bats this spring and showed the same concerns that occurred last year back at the beginning of Spring Training. Joe Girardi has sensed that they won’t keep both Stott and Bohm up on the roster for Opening Day, and Bryson Stott has done everything he’s needed to do to earn that spot.
Johan Camargo and Nick Maton are the two utility guys off the bench. Maton has had a quietly good spring, hitting .278/.350/.389 in 18 at-bats, with four hits, two doubles, and one RBI, all good for an OPS of .739. Camargo has stood out as well, crushing 7 hits and 4 RBIs in 26 at-bats. Seeing Bohm in AAA on Opening Day will be tough, but infielders off the bench need to have flexibility, and that’s exactly what these two guys have.
- Bryce Harper
- Nick Castellanos
- Kyle Schwarber
- Matt Vierling
- Mickey Moniak
The Phillies have arguably the most stacked outfield room in Major League Baseball. The reigning NL MVP is leading the way in right field, and the new additions in Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos will be rotating in the DH/LF spot. Matt Vierling and Mickey Moniak will be the two centerfielders on the roster, with Vierling getting the slight edge for Opening Day.
At the start of camp, Joe Girardi said Moniak had no chance of being the opening day centerfielder. Now, with just five games left, Moniak should be considered a lock to make the roster and to date, hasn’t been ruled out as the Opening Day starter. The 23-year-old is hitting .269/.269/.731 in 26 at-bats, with 3 HRs, 6 RBIs, 7 hits, and 3 doubles this Spring.
The journey of Mickey Moniak has been an up and down ride, but the young outfielder is ready to be an everyday player for the Phillies in 2022. Expect Vierling to get the start on Opening Day in centerfield, but don’t be surprised if Moniak has that spot locked down in two months.
- Zack Wheeler
- Aaron Nola
- Zach Eflin
- Ranger Suarez
- Kyle Gibson
The Phillies have a great starting rotation if healthy. Zack Wheeler is coming off the best season of his career, where he totaled 247 strikeouts and a 2.78 ERA in 213.1 innings pitched. Aaron Nola struggled last year but is looking for a very important bounce-back season in 2022.
Zach Eflin is fully healed from his injury. Ranger Suarez threw a 1.36 ERA in 106 innings last year. Kyle Gibson struggled in 2021 with the Phillies, but the team will look to get him back to his Rangers-self from last year, where he threw a 2.87 ERA in 113 innings.
- Corey Knebel
- Brad Hand
- Jeurys Familia
- Seranthony Dominguez
- Bailey Falter
- Christopher Sanchez
- Nick Nelson
- Connor Brogdon
- Damon Jones
- Sam Coonrod (Injured)
- Jose Alvarado (Injured)
The last and final aspect of the roster is the Phillies bullpen. The team went out and got their closer this offseason in Corey Knebel. Seranthony Dominguez looks healthy and ready to go for the first time in two years and will serve as the setup man for the team. Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia will be two big arms for the team, who were both acquired recently this offseason.
The rest is where it gets interesting.
Bailey Falter seems like a lock to make the roster. Nick Nelson should make the team as well, but there’s never any guarantee with the bullpen. Connor Brogdon has been a major concern this spring, as the team has seen a 3-mph decrease in his velocity. Brogdon said he is fully healthy and is just getting back into shape, which means he’ll find his way onto the roster as long as nothing goes terribly wrong.
The last three spots are toss-ups. As of right now, Sam Coonrod and Jose Alvarado are injured, and won’t be on the Opening Day roster. That leaves three spots for Christopher Sanchez, Damon Jones, James Norwood, Francisco Morales, Braeden Ogle, and Ryan Sherriff.
It has already been announced that Coonrod won’t be ready, but Jose Alvarado believes that he will be healthy and ready to go by April 8th. If that’s the case, I would have to assume that Alvarado, Sanchez, and Norwood would take the last three spots. Once Coonrod is healthy, James Norwood would probably be the outlier.
Where a shake-up could happen
Although nothing is set in stone, these are the 28 most-likely players to be in South Philadelphia on April 8th. The team could go in a different direction, and keep Bohm and Maton up, while only having 9 relievers out of the pen. We could also see Maton could go down to AAA, which would lead to Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott both making the Opening Day roster. Joe Girardi has many decisions to make, and all those decisions will be finalized over the next 6 days.
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies take on the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:07 EST. Zack Wheeler was set to make his Spring Training debut today, but he was a late scratch due to rain in the forecast. The team wants him to throw a normal game, and he will do that in an intra-squad game with the A-ball team. Andrew Bellatti will now get the start.
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