PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — “Summer camp,” as the Phillies referred to their interrupted spring training on Twitter, is scheduled to get underway this week in South Philadelphia for what’s hoped to be the start of the 2020 regular season in late July.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 29, 2020
The Phils submitted their initial player pool to the league, and shared it publicly, on Sunday. Every team is allowed 60 players to choose from. The Phillies currently have 53, leaving room to add seven more.
Two players who stood out on the list are a couple of prospects who aren’t expected to be everyday players like Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Rhys Hoskins, Didi Gregorius, Jean Segura and Scott Kingery, but who could make their much anticipated big league debuts in this extremely unusual season.
They are infielder Alec Bohm, the 2018 third overall pick, and right-handed pitcher Spencer Howard.
In a normal year, they would have likely been starting the campaign in the minor leagues. Now, if they impress enough over the next few weeks, it wouldn’t be far-fetched for them to make the Opening Day roster. And even if neither makes it at first — the chances of both having their first major league action in 2020 is pretty good.
Former first overall pick Mickey Moniak is currently not on the list.
Odubel Herrera, who was in minor league camp during spring training, wasn’t on the list either. Herrera was arrested in May 2019 on a simple assault charge, which was dropped. He was suspended by MLB, and eventually removed from the Phils’ 40-man roster, despite having a major league contract. Herrera had been superseded on the centerfield depth chart by Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn. Harper is in right field. McCutchen is in left, as is Jay Bruce. Then, there is also Nick Williams.
Reliever Seranthony Dominguez was placed in the 60-day Injured List with a right elbow sprain. It’s widely expected he will get Tommy John surgery. Fellow reliever David Robertson also wasn’t on the player pool list because he’s recovering from Tommy John.
Phils icon and senior advisor Larry Bowa told SportsRadio 94WIP’s Howard Eskin over the weekend that bullpen success will be crucial for all teams in a shortened 60-game season.
“Whoever has the best bullpens in this quick sprint of 60 games is gonna win or get in the playoffs, because I think the bullpens are gonna play major, major roles,” Bowa said. “I really don’t see a (starting pitcher) going five or six innings until maybe, I don’t know, maybe the third start.”
Bowa doesn’t think three weeks of training will be enough for the pitchers to be ready like they would be for a normal first month of the season. He also believes this particular campaign deserves notification of an unprecedented season.
“There’s gotta be an asterisk, whoever wins this thing, there’s no question. Sixty games is not even half — half of a season. So, it’s gonna be different.”
The active roster must be at 30 players by the time the regular season begins.