Much has been written about the changing landscape that is the projected 2021 Philadelphia Phillies roster. As the young talent continues to emerge and veterans are added to the potential season-opening lineup, the competition for playing time or even a roster spot is at a “fever pitch” as spring training comes to a close next week.
The deadline for defining what the 26-man roster is right around the corner, with Opening Day beginning with a full slate of games on the first of April.
There are plenty of interesting options for Joe Girardi to consider before said date, but here is the most likely scenario after cuts and demotions come in a few days.
Projecting the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day roster
Pitchers (13 total, 5 rotation, 8 relief)
- Aaron Nola
- Zach Wheeler
- Zach Eflin
- Matt Moore
- Chase Anderson
The top-two arms are set in stone, as Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler both project ace-like numbers at their best. Eflin could be the third ace if he comes back from whatever back issue, he is dealing with in the same form he began his spring training in. The bottom two rotation spots are somewhat still up for grabs, although Chase Anderson has performed well enough to earn a spot as at least the fifth starter this year.
Signing both Anderson and Matt Moore is an indicator that the Phillies didn’t have a ton of faith in the development of Spencer Howard, and this theory proves correct. Vince Velasquez seems to be destined for the bullpen Howard will likely begin the year in Triple-A, and hopefully build some momentum as the year progresses. Ideally one of the veteran signings becomes a trade piece and Howard takes hold of a rotations spot. One name to keep in mind: Enyel De Los Santos, who has performed very well in spot innings this spring.