4 Phillies players on the 40-man roster who won’t survive the 2024 season

Which Phillies could lose their hold on a spot on the 40-man roster this season?

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Darick Hall might lose his 40-man roster spot this season
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Darick Hall might lose his 40-man roster spot this season / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

Michael Mercado

The Phillies acquired Michael Mercado in a minor trade this offseason with the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for pitcher Adam Leverett and cash considerations back in November of 2023. The former second-round pick from the 2017 MLB Draft has spent the past five seasons in the Rays minor league system and has yet to make his major league debut.

In total, Mercado has amassed an 11-18 record, 4.81 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, with 114 walks and 343 strikeouts in 306 2/3 innings in the minors. His main strength is his strikeout ability, as he averaged a stellar 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings this past season. However, his glaring weakness has been his command and control over the years, with 2023 being one of his worst seasons, walking close to five batters per nine innings.

The Rays are notorious for developing strong homegrown pitching products, so it's rare for them to let go of any promising pitching prospect. Despite his tremendous strikeout ability, Mercado never ranked in the Top 30 prospects in the Rays system over the years, clearly showing that his utmost potential has been drastically limited by the wildness in his command.

Despite poor results, his strikeout ability was on full display in his limited spring action. He pitched to a 6.35 ERA and 1.59 WHIP while striking out a whopping 10 batters in just 5 2/3 innings. He drastically improved his walk rate, which he brought down to 3.8 percent. Still, it wasn’t surprising that he was among the first round of cuts and was sent back down to the minors for the remainder of training camp.

Unless Mercado can continue making significant improvements in his pitching mechanics to make himself a serviceable major league pitcher, his upside will be severely limited, and he could ultimately find himself off the 40-man roster before the end of the 2024 season.