Phillies finalize OD roster, option Arrieta

March 29th, 2018

PHILADELPHIA -- Anytime anybody discussed the Phillies' projected Opening Day roster, either this winter or this spring, it came with a caveat:
will not be called up until April 13 at the earliest.
No chance, no way, no how.
That changed Sunday, when the Phillies signed Kingery to an unprecedented six-year, $24 million contract. It will be a nine-year, $65 million contract if the Phils exercise three club options that keep him in a Philadelphia uniform through 2026. It is unprecedented because Kingery became the first Phillies player and just the second ever selected in the Draft to sign a multiyear contract before playing a single inning in the big leagues.
That is a nice piece of trivia for Phils fans, but they only care that Kingery will be on the 25-man roster for Thursday's series opener against the Braves at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. Will he be in the starting lineup? That is another question.
The Phillies announced their roster on Thursday. Here is how it looks:
Catchers (2): and . No surprises here. Alfaro entered the spring as a lock. Knapp entered camp as the favorite over , who had fallen behind offensively and defensively. Rupp got designated for assignment Sunday and released Monday. So, what happens if something happens to Alfaro or Knapp? In the short term, the Phillies could promote or Matt McBride from Triple-A. Philadelphia also could find a veteran catcher in another organization. It is risky to have such inexperienced catching depth in the organization, but the Phils are comfortable taking it.
Infielders (4):, , and . How will Phillies manager Gabe Kapler find enough playing time for everybody? Santana will play regularly at first base, but if the Phils want Kingery to play nearly every day, Hernandez, Franco and Crawford will lose plate appearances. It truly will be one of the more interesting storylines of the season. Hernandez said on Monday he is not worried about it. Let's check back with everybody on May 25 to see how it is going.
Outfielders (4):, , and . Kapler finds himself in a similar situation with his outfielders. Hoskins, like Santana, will play nearly every day. But while Herrera figures to be the primary center fielder, both Altherr and Kingery can play there. Altherr, Williams and Kingery can share time in right, too.
Utility players (2): Kingery and . Obviously, Kingery is not a utility player in terms of talent -- he could be a superstar -- but he is listed here because he is expected to play everywhere. The Phillies optioned on Sunday and on Monday, making Florimon the fourth man on a four-player bench. If Florimon falters, Valentin could get the call. If somebody in the outfield suffers an injury, it could be Quinn.
Rotation (4):, , Vince Velasquez and . is not on the Opening Day roster, but he will make his first start April 8 against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies on Monday optioned right-hander Zach Eflin, essentially handing the No. 4 job to Lively (although the Phils have not announced it). That job became available because is sidelined until at least May because of a strained right lat.
Bullpen (9):, , Pat Neshek, , , , , and . Tommy Hunter opens the season on the DL with a right hamstring injury. opens on the DL with a strained flexor pronator in his right arm. Hunter, like the first four pitchers listed in the bullpen, was a lock to make the team. Milner entered camp as a favorite over left-hander , who was optioned Monday. Hutchison pitched well throughout camp. He had his contract selected Sunday, putting him on the team. Thompson and Arano got the final two spots because of the Hunter injury and because Arrieta will not open with the team.