Now that Spring Training has begun, I’ll get going with my annual, futile, attempt to guess the IronPigs roster for when they take the field on April 9 at Coca Cola Park. Below, I’ll not mention the possibility of trades, injuries, and outright releases, because they are always possible and I have no inside information which would allow me to predict such. I’m just calling it as I see it. It’s a bit different this season, because I believe the Phillies’ own motivations on how to construct their roster may be a bit different than in recent years. We’ll see, I guess. Oh, one more thing: I’ll likely forget somebody or make an inappropriate assumption somewhere along the line. Please feel free to add information or corrections in the comment section. Thanks. Here we go:
We’re going by position number, so Shortstop will be next.
Maikel Franco and Chris Nelson
Franco should be with us to start, as long as Cody Asche is healthy in Philadelphia. It just makes the most sense in terms of service time and team control–plus there’s stuff for him to work on, like hitting breaking pitches and other junk balls. He’ll see plenty of that in AAA. Plus, the new short porch in Left should make him look a little better, too. Finally, I remember that he’s not a big fan of the cold weather–any cold-related struggles would be better to occur in Allentown, rather than on the big stage accruing service time before necessary.
There has been some talk of Cody Asche working in Left Field. As far as I know, he didn’t play any winter ball this year–let alone at that position. There are enough outfielders about–although he might be out there a bit in the Spring games–I don’t think we’ll see that as an option until later this summer after Franco is up with the Phillies. Interestingly, Asche still has options; they could send him back at some juncture to work on Left Field. Not likely–but it wouldn’t totally surprise me.
Franco, of course, can also play First Base. We’ll see him there once in a while over the first two months of the season, but it won’t become a real thing unless and until Howard gets traded.
The former first-round pick of the Colorado Rockies, Chris Nelson has bounced around the league a bit of late. He’s a non-roster invitee of the Phillies this Spring. He had 27 games with the Padres last season, but the balance of the time he spent with the AAA clubs of the Padres and the Reds. His 63 games in Louisville last season were his only career time in the International League. He hit .274 with four home runs in those games. With 282 games of MLB service time, it’s very likely that he has an opt-out at some point–perhaps June 1.
I had Tyler Henson and Cord Phelps with the Second Base group. I’ll have Chase D’Arnaud with the Shortstop group. D’Arnaud and Phelps are non-roster invitees. Franco and Asche are the only guys on the 40-man. As far as the Phillies, I don’t think they’ll necessarily carry someone on the MLB roster specifically to back up Asche initially. They’ll have Cesar Hernandez on the roster for a pinch, and would then get Franco, Nelson, D’Arnaud, or Phelps up if needed. We shall see, of course.
See you at the park,
Categories: Lehigh Valley IronPigs