Phillies transfer Spencer Howard, 3 others to alternate site

A general view of Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
A general view of Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Top Phillies pitching prospect Spencer Howard will begin the 2020 season in Lehigh Valley

Less than two days remain until the noon Thursday deadline for the Philadelphia Phillies to submit their 30-man Opening Day roster. Players within their player pool who are not named to the list will be transferred to the alternate training site in Lehigh Valley to stay ready in case they receive their call to the big leagues.

Last week, manager Joe Girardi and company transferred right-handed reliever Victor Arano to the site, although he remained with the team at Citizens Bank Park with operations not yet in swing at the organization’s Triple-A home.

Tuesday evening, the Phillies announced the transfer of four other players, including top pitching prospect Spencer Howard, along with right-handers Mauricio Llovera and Addison Russ, as well as catcher Logan O’Hoppe, according to’s Todd Zolecki. The first workout at the satellite camp is slated for Thursday.

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The only real surprise here is Howard, although even then it is not a shock the Phillies will not keep him at Citizens Bank Park for the season opener on Friday against the Miami Marlins. The right-hander just needs to stay at the site for at most a week to guarantee his service time “clock” does not start ticking; hence, the Phillies can obtain another year of control on his rookie contract before he starts the arbitration process.

The Phillies also announced on Tuesday that they have granted infielder Josh Harrison his request to be released; they did the same for Logan Forsythe. With fellow infielder Neil Walker being told he will make the team, and with Phil Gosselin turning heads in summer camp, there simply were no spots left to be had for Harrison nor Forsythe.

It will be interesting to see how else the roster shapes out ahead of Thursday’s noon deadline and Friday’s season opener.