Phillies: Joe Girardi discusses need to adjust amid pandemic

Manager Joe Girardi #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Manager Joe Girardi #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Joe Girardi, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Changing managerial style amid 60-game schedule

When asked if he has to change the way he usually manages in order to adjust to the abbreviated schedule, Girardi agreed, adding he “better be smart about it.”

“I think you have to [adjust], but you also have to be careful, understanding, you think probably most about pitchers during this. And you’re going to think about position players as well,” he says.

While the 2020 season will start out with 30-man rosters, it will shrink to 28-man rosters two weeks later, and, after four overall weeks, to 26, notes 6ABC’s Jeff Skversky. Each team will be asked to submit their 40-man roster, as well as a 20-man “taxi squad” list.

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There will be larger than ever roster sizes, yet a shorter than ever amount of time to gear up for the season. Girardi stresses the importance of using each player wisely.

“You can’t start running relievers out a number of days in a row just because it’s 60 games and it’s not a marathon but a sprint,” he says.

When discussing position players, Girardi says he may use the designated hitter as a strategic way to keep strong hitters in the lineup who could use a day off in the field.

“How many games will they play before they go into the regular season compared to the normal spring training? I think you’re going to have to use the DH strategically to get them off their feet a little bit,” Girardi says. “Maybe you can keep J.T. [Realmuto] or Bryce [Harper] in the lineup more. [Andrew] McCutchen, coming off the knee injury, can be used more. We [also] have Jay Bryce, who I think fits that mold pretty well.”

“There is a fine line as managers that we walk to making sure that players aren’t overused,” Girardi continues. “Because think about it: if you hurt someone or they go on the DL for two or three weeks, that could cost you your season.”