The Philadelphia Phillies spring training schedule continues with the club going 8-4-1 in Grapefruit League play over the last first weeks. There are a number of players young and old looking for a chance to break camp in a bench role with the club.
With only Andrew Knapp appearing to be guaranteed one of those reserve spots, there are a few openings still to be determined. I’m going to count down five players on the spring roster in the order that I feel you could see them wind up on the Opening Day bench in a Phillies uniform.
5 – Logan Forsythe INF
Logan Forsythe is an interesting player. The nine-year veteran has played with five big-league organizations. His first six years spent with the Tampa Bay Rays as well as with the San Diego Padres, the team that drafted him back in 2008, might be his most important. He had a slash line of .273/.343/.390 with San Diego in 2012 and then banged 37 homers over the 2015-16 seasons with Tampa Bay.
Forsythe is enjoying an impressive spring with the Phillies. In seven games the 33-year-old has two home runs, four RBIs, two doubles, four walks, and only one strikeout while producing a .500/.611/1.071 slash line.
Defensively, Forsythe can play anywhere on the field. He holds an overall .979 FLD% during his career in Major League Baseball and in nine seasons has only committed 69 errors. If he can keep this up he would be a versatile addition to the bench mix and could potentially be a 2020 equivalent to Brad Miller, who signed a contract with the Cardinals earlier this year after a solid season with the Phillies a year ago.
4 – Ronald Torreyes INF
Ronald Torreyes is a young “veteran” of sorts, having five years in the big-leagues under his belt. He played three of those years with the New York Yankees. Torreyes’ career slashes are .279/.308/.374 and in 632 plate appearances he has 165 hits, 30 doubles, six triples, four homers, 57 RBIs, 24 walks, and 83 strikeouts.
While Torreyes is not exactly setting the world on fire in terms of hitting this spring he could be a great defensive replacement. He sports a career FLD% of .984 and in five seasons has only committed 10 errors.
In seven spring games he is currently slashing .375/.375/.500 and has 16 at-bats, six hits, two doubles, and three strikeouts. As a young talent, even if he dose not make the 26-man roster he could end up further honing his hitting craft at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and perhaps help later in the summer or even make the cut next year.
3 – Mikie Mahtook OF
It wouldn’t be right not to put Mikie Mahtook on this list. The 30-year-old has played five seasons, two with the Tampa Bay Rays and three with the Detroit Tigers. His career .235/.292/.405 slash line may not appear very impressive, but coming off the bench he could be a solid choice.
In 884 at-bats, Mahtook has produced 112 runs, 208 hits, 33 doubles, nine triples, 33 home runs, 97 RBIs, 59 walks, and 225 strikeouts.
During his career as an MLB outfielder, Mahtook has committed eight errors with a .985 fielding percentage. The Phillies have experienced a somewhat troubled past with reserve outfielders not providing strong defensive play. This might not be a bad guy for Joe Girardi to put out there as a late-game defensive replacement.
2 – Phil Gosselin INF
My #2 favorite to make the club, Phil Gosselin also filled a bench role with the Phillies last season. Gosselin appeared in 44 games with the team in 2019 including a half-dozen games in left field, five at shortstop, and also one game at third base.
This spring he has played in eight games and has 16 at-bats in which he has produced four hits, three RBIs, one walk. and two strikeouts.The Phillies are the sixth different organization that Gosselin has performed with over his nine-year career in Major League Baseball. In 597 at-bats he has 157 hits, 30 doubles, seven home runs, 39 walks, and 127 strikeouts with a career .262/.312/.355 slash line.
Further, in those seven years he has committed 10 errors with a .977 fielding percentage. Since 2015, however, he has a 1.000 fielding percentage, so don’t let that fool you. Whether it’s hitting the ball or catching it, to see “Goose” on the Phillies bench again this year shouldn’t be that surprising.
1 – Josh Harrison UT
Josh Harrison is my number one pick to make the Phillies 26-man roster and become an important piece of the bench mix. He spent eight years in Pittsburgh alongside current Philles left fielder Andrew McCutchen. In 2,924 at-bats he has put up 797 hits, 161 doubles, 28 triples, 53 home runs, 277 RBIs, 79 stolen bases, 126 walks, and 484 strikeouts with a .273/.313/.401 career slash line.
This spring. Harrison has put up some solid numbers. In 12 plate appearances he has three hits, including a solo home run, with one walk and three strikeouts. Harrison is currently slashing .273/.333/.545. If they need a defensive replacement, he has a fielding percentage of .986 and has committed 59 errors over his nine seasons.
Regardless of where they play him, I want to see J-Hay and Cutch together dancing in the dugout during the 2020 season, getting this year’s Phillies team hyped during each game. Harrison will be the main guy for Phillies fans to look out for as March draws to a close.
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