Ideally, the Phillies would like to leave themselves some room to make roster additions during the season. Salisbury recently wrote that the Phillies had to “weigh the benefits” of carrying Watson over young southpaw reliever JoJo Romero, who already owns a 40-man roster spot and will earn the major-league minimum in 2021.
Now that Watson is no longer in the southpaw picture, Romero could now lock in one of the few remaining bullpen spots up for grabs.
Other Phillies roster cuts
The Phillies also recently optioned left-hander Ranger Suarez and outfielder Mickey Moniak to minor-league camp — notably ending the latter player and former No. 1 overall pick’s bid to be named the Opening Day starter at center field.
Adam Haseley has returned to action from an injury earlier than expected, and re-enters the conversation as a serious candidate for the spot. It could be down to a four-man race between Haseley, Roman Quinn, non-roster invitee Odubel Herrera, and utility player Scott Kingery.
Suarez, 25, arrived to Phillies spring training late due to visa issues, and had yet to appear in a game due to tweaking his quadriceps earlier in March. The Phillies will rely on the left-hander as starting rotation depth, if the need arises during the season.
Earlier in the week, the Phillies also optioned right-hander Ramon Rosso to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, as well as re-assigned non-roster invitee right-handers Bryan Mitchell and Michael Ynoa to minor-league camp. Along with Rondon, fellow right-hander Ivan Nova, as well as catcher Jeff Mathis, have also been recently released.
Also on Friday, right-hander Spencer Howard was optioned to minor-league camp, while outfielder Simon Muzziotti was placed on the restricted list.
These cuts only make the Phillies bullpen outlook more defined as the season fast approaches.