How have injuries changed the Phils' 2023 Opening Day roster?

March 27th, 2023

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies suffered a crushing loss Thursday, when  tore the ACL in his left knee. He will not play this season, barring a miracle.

Hoskins' injury changed how the Phillies have built their Opening Day roster, which has not been announced. Five players had been competing for two bench jobs, but with Hoskins' injury,  became the team’s first baseman. The Phils on Monday optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and reassigned to Minor League camp. Those moves put and  on the 26-man roster, barring any last-minute acquisitions before Opening Day on Thursday in Texas.

The Phillies also optioned left-hander and right-handers Luiz Ortiz and . Those moves put righties and  in the bullpen.

Here is a look at the Phillies’ Opening Day roster:

Catchers (2): and
Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball, according to Johnny Bench and others. Stubbs posted 1.1 WAR as a batter as Realmuto’s backup, making him the most productive Phillies backup catcher (150 or fewer plate appearances) since Todd Pratt (1.3 WAR) in 2002.

First base (2):
Hoskins will be missed. He has been one of baseball’s most productive hitters since his MLB debut on Aug. 10, 2017. 

Hall will have to pick up the slack, at least against right-handed pitching. He batted .250 with nine home runs, 16 RBIs and an .804 OPS in 142 plate appearances last season, serving as the Phillies’ DH while Bryce Harper recovered from a broken left thumb. Hall has shown good things this spring, hitting the ball hard and the opposite way while also having more competitive at-bats against lefties. 

It remains to be seen how much manager Rob Thomson will play Hall against lefties. (Hall faced them only 12 times last year.) Thomson said the Phillies can slide from third to first against tough left-handed pitchers, although he said it will not happen too often.

Second base (1):
Stott slashed .286/.338/.418 from Aug. 4 through the end of the regular season. Stott expects to take another step forward this year, which includes better results against fastballs.

Shortstop (1):
Philadelphia fans were already excited about seeing Turner in a Phillies uniform. Then Turner smashed five home runs for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

Third base (1):
Bohm came to camp in February bigger and stronger. He has been hitting the ball hard to all fields, a byproduct of his strength gain and an improved approach at the plate. It has a lot of people thinking Bohm is ready to take a significant jump in production.

Outfielders (3): , and
Castellanos, Schwarber and Marsh are the everyday outfielders, which is not a surprise. The Phillies have said since Harper’s surgery that he could be back by mid-July, but they left the door open for a return in late May by not placing him on the 60-day injured list. A June return seems the most likely. The priority is getting Harper back to DH. If he plays right field at all this season, it won’t happen until the very end.

Utility players (4): , , and
Harrison and Sosa, like Stubbs, were always locks to make the bench. Both are versatile and each has a big league contract.

Cave has been the Phillies’ Grapefruit League MVP, hitting the ball hard in almost every game he has played. He entered camp seemingly at a disadvantage because Philly was looking for a right-handed bat to back up Marsh in center field. But Cave can play all three outfield positions, and Thomson has said he would like to get Schwarber and Castellanos off their feet on occasion.

So expect to see Cave on the corners. Guthrie can back up Marsh in center field, but Thomson also said Sosa can play there, too. Kingery had a fine spring, but the Phillies want him to continue his work in Triple-A. If he keeps playing well, Kingery will get his shot at some point. So should Clemens.

Starting pitchers (5): , , , and
Everybody knew the first three spots were locks with Wheeler, Nola and Walker. was a lock, too, but he is battling inflammation in his left elbow and he will not be ready to start the season. The Phillies said they do not think the injury is serious, but time will tell.

Falter entered camp competing with  for the No. 5 job, but he became a lock once Painter suffered a sprained proximal UCL in his right elbow. Strahm signed a two-year, $15 million contract in December to be a high-leverage reliever in the bullpen, but he has started in the past. He will provide the Phillies some length as a temporary starter until Suárez returns.

Relief pitchers (8): , , , , , , and
Seven of the eight bullpen jobs were locked up, until the Phillies moved Strahm into the rotation. Marte had been the obvious choice for a spot based on an impressive spring. Thomson has raved about him since the beginning of camp. Vasquez got an opportunity because of Suárez's injury. Vasquez entered Monday having struck out 14 and walked three in 10 innings.