Phillies manager Joe Girardi recently discussed spring training, what the team needs to address if it resumes, and the health status of a few key players.
For Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi, he is itching for baseball to return but at the same time is finding ways to occupy his time.
“The good thing about South Florida is you can get outside every day; so, I’m getting ready to go for a run, do some backpedaling and a bunch of different things,” Girardi recently said on MLB Network. “I work out four days and then take a day off; it’s it’s all body weight sort of stuff”
The new Phillies skipper, the 55th in franchise history, says that even though spring training was cut short, he felt he got a “pretty good feel” of the whole organization and prospects that have the possibility of helping the team during the course of the season.
The one thing Girardi noted that the team did miss, however, was getting to a smaller group and “having more time to spend with the guys that you were going to see every day.”
“We had 70-plus people in camp; I think we’d only cut it down to 60, but I got a really good feel of our organization and how it works,” Girardi says. “I was really pleased with the young players, how far along that they were, and how prepared they were to play the game. So, to me, I thought that was really good.”
According to Phillies.com, the Phillies still have 30 non-roster invitee players on their roster; among them are prospects that were just offered the opportunity to experience big-league camp, while others were seasoned veterans competing for a spot on the 26-man, major league roster.
Such veterans included relievers Trevor Kelley, Francisco Liriano, Bud Norris, Blake Parker, Drew Storen, and Anthony Swarzak; catcher Christian Bethancourt; infielders Logan Forsythe, Phil Gosselin, Josh Harrison, Ronald Torreyes, and Neil Walker; and outfielders Mikie Mahtook, Nick Martini, and Matt Szczur.
The possibility of a shortened season is both intriguing, and unfortunate for these non-roster invitee players, in that the Phillies could decide to open with high-ranking prospects INF Alec Bohm and RHP Spencer Howard, who would have otherwise began the season in the minors.
Girardi then went on to discuss the injury statuses of three veterans that will likely play a significant role on the 2020 season, if it were to happen: Andrew McCutchen, Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter.
The skipper says McCutchen, who was originally slated to miss opening day, is doing “much better.” Arrieta is “fine” and is “doing great,” according to Girardi, who pitched the last game and exited with a stiff shoulder. “Tommy Hunter was another guy that we thought that sometime in April we would get him back,” Girardi says,” We’ll get him back whenever we start, which I think is important to our bullpen.”
Of course, who will or will not make the 2020 roster, as well as the injury status of the aforementioned players, could all become meaningless if the season were to be canceled due to the pandemic.
Girardi says if baseball were to resume, we would see a shortened, second stint of spring training.
“It’s going to be short like it was, I believe, in 1995 when we came back; it was shorter,” Girardi says. “That was a good thing about having those four-plus weeks. I think that when we were there I got a pretty good idea who was going to be on our team.”
Girardi noted that the Phillies still have some unresolved roster competitions that need to be addressed before the 2020 season could begin. “We do have some competitions for bench players in maybe some platoon situations [and] some relievers in the bullpen, and we’re gonna have to iron that out fairly quickly,” he says.
“I think we’ll have a pretty good hold on it by the end of spring training.”