Projecting the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day roster
By Hunter Doyle
Newly acquired reliever Archie Bradley is already a Phillies fan-favorite.
Bullpen (7): Archie Bradley, Jose Alvarado, Hector Neris, David Hale, Jojo Romero, Chase Anderson, Vince Velasquez
While the Phillies bullpen still needs a lot of work, Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado are major improvements from what this team had in 2020. After that, it gets interesting. While Hector Neris has been one of the most inconsistent Phillies relievers, he is also one of the most experienced. It would be a shock to see the Phillies front office let him go.
Former Yankee right-hander David Hale also brings much-needed experience to this bullpen. He only made six 2020 appearances in red pinstripes, but proved to be reliable during his time in New York. The Phillies have to see more of the 33-year-old. He has earned another shot with his work in spring training thus far.
JoJo Romero had his moments in his 2020 rookie campaign. Most will remember him for smashing an energy drink can on his arm before heading out to the mound. JoJo had a few bad outings that skewed his numbers, but there is potential to work with. He held opponents scoreless in eight of his 12 appearances. There is plenty of room for improvement, but also a reason to be excited.
Chase Anderson and Vince Velasquez round out this group. Anderson is still neck-and-neck with Matt Moore for the fifth spot in the rotation; that may not matter if Eflin and Howard remain sidelined. Long-term, Anderson might be better off in a bullpen role at this point in his career. His 12.86 ERA in September was a concerning way to finish out 2020.
Velasquez moves to the bullpen, which should’ve been done a while ago. He has the stuff to be a late-inning reliever and this might be his last shot with the Phils.