Phillies: 4 Players Who Would Benefit from 29-Man Roster
2. Tommy Hunter
Had the 2020 season began on time, the Phillies might just have given up on 12-year veteran right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter, despite him being the only reliever the club signed this offseason to a big-league pact.
Hunter was slated to begin the season on the injured list for the third consecutive year and the fourth time over the last five seasons. He was still not fully healthy and had not appeared in a 2020 Grapefruit League game prior to action being paused, still progressing from his surgery last July to repair his right arm flexor tendon. Hunter had only been throwing every three days and had yet to face live batters.
Now, Hunter surely would be at least some percentage of his full, healthy self once the season gets underway; having him on a 29-man roster would not be as much of a liability as it would having him on a 26-man roster. The Phillies could work him back into a semi-regular role; he appeared in only five games last season.
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With Seranthony Dominguez potentially out for the season, the Phillies could use Hunter, who has experience pitching in the later inning. Only Jose Alvarez, Adam Morgan, and Hector Neris were considered “locks” as relievers, notes the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Despite missing the first three weeks of the 2018 season, Hunter led the bullpen in innings pitched and posted a 3.80 ERA. Joe Girardi would surely like to have him as an option for a shortened season, especially given each games would hold much more significance.