Phillies: Alec Bohm, Spencer Howard accept service time fate

Alec Bohm #80 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Alec Bohm #80 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Phillies top prospects Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard are gearing up for the season, but realize they may not be with the team right away

Opening Day is one week from today. Soon, the Philadelphia Phillies will have to decide which players from their 60-man player pool will make up their 30-man roster.

Top prospects 3B Alec Bohm and RHP Spencer Howard are almost guaranteed to debut at some point this season. However, it is believed the Phillies will most likely choose to manipulate their service time — sending them to their Lehigh Valley alternate training site to start the season in order to gain an extra year of control on their rookie contracts.

RELATED | Phillies’ Alec Bohm, Spencer Howard Named to Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects List

Bohm and Howard have both turned heads at summer camp, including their recent summer camp intrasquad games this week. Even then, their performances might not be enough to earn them spots on the roster come the July 24 season opener.

Ahead of Friday’s intrasquad game, the Phillies’ Nos. 1 and 2-ranked prospects said they understand if their promotion to the majors is delayed. Bohm, in particular, called the Phillies potentially manipulating his service time a “smart business move.”

“I’m not going to hold any grudge over it or raise a stink about it,” Bohm told reporters. “It’s part of the game. Everybody’s gone through it.”

RELATED | Phillies’ Joe Girardi: Alec Bohm can contribute this season

The infielder, drafted third overall in the 2018 draft, added that he is “more confident than ever” and no longer “stressing out” about playing defense. Bohm has fielded first base in summer camp and could occasionally spare Rhys Hoskins time off during the 60-game sprint at the position; he said while he is more comfortable at the hot corner than first base, he is willing to play wherever the Phillies need him.

Also says he’s more comfortable at 3B than 1B but willing to play wherever team needs.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi has recently been bullish on both Bohm and Howard; in regards to the starting pitcher, he said he had “electric stuff” during his Thursday intrasquad outing.

Even Bryce Harper endorsed Howard afterward; during his Twitch gaming live stream, the six-time All-Star said if the right-hander is not in the Phillies rotation by Game 6 in New York against the Yankees, “there’s a problem.”

We will likely see more of Bohm and Howard during the Phillies’ three exhibition games this weekend, July 18-20 against the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees. Shortly thereafter, we should learn whether or not they will make the Opening Day roster.