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Four Surprise Candidates To Make the Phillies Opening Day Roster

There are multiple surprise candidates to make the Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day roster. These candidates have been impressive early on in spring training. The Phillies are currently 3-1 in Grapefruit League play. As things currently stand, the Phillies have a full 40-man roster. This could complicate things for some of these players trying to make the Phillies roster. In addition, some players are out of minor league options on the 40-man roster, and they will need to be designated for assignment if they do not make the Opening Day roster regardless of who does make the team. The most notable of these examples are Cristian Pache and Jake Cave.

Surprise Candidates To Make Phillies Roster

Andrew Bellatti

After being designated for assignment so the Phillies could add Michael Rucker to the 40-man roster, Andrew Bellatti is at camp as a non-roster invitee. For Bellatti to make the Opening Day roster, someone currently on the 40-man roster would have to be designated for assignment. In 27 appearances with the Phillies last season, Bellatti had a 1-0 record with a 5.11 ERA and an 85 ERA+ as well as 25 strikeouts. So far in two spring training appearances, Bellatti has not allowed a run in two innings and has one strikeout. A return to his 2022 form would help Bellatti’s chances to make the roster. In 2022, Bellatti had a 4-4 record with a 3.31 ERA and a 121 ERA+ as well as 78 strikeouts in 59 outings.

Dylan Covey

Currently on the 40-man roster, Dylan Covey is in the best position to make the team of these candidates. However, Covey is not a lock to make it yet. So far this spring, he has pitched two scoreless outings recording three strikeouts. Last season, in 28 appearances with the Phillies, he had a 1-3 record with a 3.69 ERA and a 117 ERA+ along with 27 strikeouts. Covey joined the Phillies last season as a waiver pickup after making an appearance for the Los Angeles Dodgers before being released. It is important to note that Covey does not have any remaining minor league options. This means that Covey will likely be designated for assignment if he does not make the roster.

Scott Kingery

The most interesting candidate on this list is Scott Kingery due to his contract situation. Technically speaking, Kingery does not have a contract at the moment. This is because the Phillies declined his team option this past offseason. However, Kingery does not have enough MLB service time to become a free agent and is therefore still under team control. In four spring training appearances, Kingery has a .286/.414/.714 line with a home run and an RBI. Kingery did not make any appearances for the Phillies last season. At Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2023, he had a .244/.325/.400 line with 13 home runs and 47 RBI in 117 games. Kingery would bring defensive versatility to the Phils, having played every position except catcher and first base in the majors.

Weston Wilson

Another player who brings defensive versatility is Weston Wilson, who is currently on the 40-man roster. In eight games with the Phillies last season, Wilson had a .313/.500/.500 line with a home run, two RBI, and three stolen bases. He also had a 177 OPS+ at the major league level last season. During that stint, Wilson played five different defensive positions. Last season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 125 games, he had a .259/.363/.515 line with 31 home runs and 86 RBI as well as 32 stolen bases. So far in four spring training appearances, the 29-year-old has a .300/.273/.973 line with a home run and five RBI. Wilson’s ability to steal bases may come into play when the Phillies decide who makes the Opening Day roster.


Photo Credit: © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


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