Jake Cave, Dalton Guthrie surprise Phillies bench additions for Opening Day roster
Kody Clemens and Scott Kingery did not make the final cut for the Phillies' Opening Day roster.
The 2023 Philadelphia Phillies season is almost upon us, with Opening Day against the Texas Rangers just days away. Among the spring training storylines has been who will earn the club's final bench spots. Some clarity was provided Monday.
With the Phillies optioning INF/OF Kody Clemens to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and INF/OF Scott Kingery to minor-league camp, it seems very likely that outfielders Jake Cave and Dalton Guthrie have earned the final two bench spots to open the season.
Cave has been one of the Phillies' best hitters this spring. The 30-year-old has slashed .440/.481/.820 in 17 games. A September call-up last season, Guthrie received some extra playing time this spring in part thanks to fellow outfielder Kyle Schwarber playing in the World Baseball Classic. Guthrie has not exactly taken advantage of the opportunity, slashing .234/.250/.383 in 19 games.
Clemens was acquired along with Gregory Soto in an offseason trade that sent Nick Maton and Matt Vierling to the Detroit Tigers. The 26-year-old hit a solid .319/.385/.617 in 19 games this spring, but it appears the team would rather him start the season at Triple-A. Kingery, 28, attempted to prove to the Phillies organization that he deserves one last chance, considering he is in the final year of his six-season, $24 million contract. The utility player slashed .340/.415/.447 in 18 games, but similar to Clemens, his efforts were not enough to make the Opening Day roster. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Clemens and Kingery at some point in red pinstripes this season.
For now, the combination of Cave and Guthrie gives the Phillies reliable options to play when Schwarber and Nick Castellanos need rest or are taken out of games late to sure up the outfield.