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What awaits Phils in '20? Key dates and info

@ToddZolecki
January 22, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- In just a few weeks, the Phillies will load up a truck with uniforms, bats, balls, sunflower seeds and everything else under the sun (including the Phanatic’s hot dog launcher) for the trek to Clearwater, Fla. What should Phillies fans know and expect between now and Opening Day?

PHILADELPHIA -- In just a few weeks, the Phillies will load up a truck with uniforms, bats, balls, sunflower seeds and everything else under the sun (including the Phanatic’s hot dog launcher) for the trek to Clearwater, Fla.

What should Phillies fans know and expect between now and Opening Day?

First, here are three questions that fans keep asking:

1. Are the Phillies really finished making significant roster moves?

It sounds that way. The Phillies are only a few million dollars under the $208 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold. They essentially have said they have no plans to cross it, although they could. They seem inclined to wait to spend again in July, when they have a better idea about how good they are. Either way, the Phillies have one of the highest payrolls in baseball. They should be able to win with financial commitments like that anyway.

2. Why haven’t the Phillies addressed the bullpen?

The Phillies felt they had greater needs in the rotation and infield. It is why they signed Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius. The Phils are banking on a few key relievers (Seranthony Domínguez, Vìctor Arano and Adam Morgan) coming back from elbow injuries and staying healthy. It is a gamble, but I still expect the Phillies to add somebody from the outside to the bullpen.

3. Who will be the Opening Day second baseman?

I’m betting on Jean Segura since he has played there before and is comfortable there. Ideally, Scott Kingery would play second because it is his best position, but the Phillies know he can play third base, too. They don’t know if Segura can play third, although they might give it a shot this spring.

Second, here are some dates to know for Phillies fans before the home opener in April:

Jan. 23: Phillies Winter Caravan in Allentown, Pa. Girardi and Quinn are scheduled to attend.
Feb. 11: Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.
Feb. 12: Pitchers and catchers have their first official workout in Clearwater, Fla.
Feb. 17: The Phillies hold their first full-squad workout.
Feb. 22: Grapefruit League opener against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla.
Feb. 23: The Phillies play their first Grapefruit League home game against the split-squad Pirates at Spectrum Field.
March 23: Final Grapefruit League game against the Rays in Clearwater
March 26: Opening Day against the Marlins at Marlins Park in Miami
April 2: Home opener against the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .