Phillies option Roman Quinn, Zac Curtis, Zach Eflin as roster crystallizes

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 13: Starting pitcher Zach Eflin #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 13, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 13: Starting pitcher Zach Eflin #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 13, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies optioned Roman Quinn, Zac Curtis, and Zach Eflin to Triple-A Monday as the final roster for Opening Day begins to take shape.

The Phillies continue to cut down their spring training roster for Opening Day this Thursday. They have optioned relief pitcher Zac Curtis, starting pitcher Zach Eflin, and outfielder Roman Quinn to Triple-A.

This comes on the heels of the news Sunday that Scott Kingery will be on the Opening Day roster and signed just the second long-term contract of any player who has yet to make their major-league debut.

Kingery being on the roster meant that one less spot on the bench will be available for Quinn, Jesmuel Valentin, and Pedro Florimon, who were all pushing for a spot on the team. Valentin was optioned Sunday and with Quinn optioned Monday, Florimon has appeared to win the other available bench spot.

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Quinn had a strong spring this year, hitting .268 with a .716 OPS. He stole nine bases, hit one home run, drove in five runs, and scored eight runs in 22 games. With his tremendous speed, he could have carved out a role as a late-game pinch-running threat coming off the bench as the fifth outfielder.

However, with Kingery making the roster, adding Quinn would leave no one on the bench who is a natural shortstop. .

Quinn and Kingery both got time at the position this spring, but they both aren’t really meant for it. Meanwhile, Florimon is a natural shortstop who can serve as the fifth outfielder in a pinch, giving him the edge to make the final roster.

Eflin was in the conversation to have the final spot in the rotation, but he did not have a strong spring. In five starts, he had a 5.79 ERA and 1.286 WHIP, striking out 11 batters and walking three in 14 innings. Instead, the final rotation spot will go to Ben Lively.

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Elfin being optioned cements the starting rotation for this year. It will now be Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, and Lively as the starting five. Arrieta’s first start will come April 8, so it will be a four-man rotation up to that point.

Curtis being optioned isn’t much of a surprise. He was the third lefty reliever on the depth chart behind Adam Morgan and Hoby Milner. He could have been a candidate to be designated for assignment, but Ricardo Pinto was Sunday. If Morgan or Milner gets injured, Curtis would be the likely replacement for them.

With Drew Hutchinson replacing Mark Leiter, Jr. to start off the year, the last spot in the bullpen is down to Victor Arano and Jake Thompson. Both have had strong springs this year. Arano has more experience overall as a reliever, so Thompson may start the year in Triple-A to get used to pitching out of the bullpen.

Next: Phillies 2018 preview: RHP Pat Neshek

The final roster is more or less set now. All we have to do now is wait for 4:10 PM Thursday for the season to finally begin.

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