Getting excited for IronPigs baseball means getting excited for the players who will take the field at Coca Cola Park. For 2022, this is my first look at the potential roster.
We know there will be minor league baseball, and we (think we) know when it will start. But to take a stab at a roster we’ll need to know whom we can pick from.
First, The Forty Man
The giant anthropomorphic pig in the room is the lack of collective bargaining agreement for the Major Leagues, and hence the lockout by the MLB owners. Any players on the 40-man roster are covered, even if they were projected to be optioned to the minor leagues. The difference between 40 and the 26-man active roster is 14. Now, some may be on a short-term injury list or may be with AA Reading, so we won’t be missing 14–but we’ll be missing a lot in triple-A if they don’t get this thing figured out this week. If a late start is planned, I can see a scenario where these guys need to ramp up and spend time in Clearwater with the other MLB players while minor leagues gets underway without them.
The following players are guys you may have expected to see with the IronPigs in 2022–and whom you probably will, when the dust settles. They won’t be in Spring Training until they report with the big league team.
RHP Hans Crouse
LHP Bailey Falter
LHP Damon Jones
RHP Francisco Morales
LHP Jojo Romero
LHP Cristopher Sanchez
C Rafael Marchan
INF Nick Maton
INF Luke Williams
OF Adam Haseley
OF Mickey Moniak
OF Simon Muzziotti
OF Jhailyn Ortiz
OF Matt Vierling
And there you have it, 14 exactly. But we all know some will make the big league team, there might be trades, there might be injuries, etc. So, 14 is mostly a coincidence. In fact, there might be a name or two missing here. And some will head to AA Reading when the time comes. Still, it’s notable as you look over the names: Some of these guys could really benefit from getting in camp and ramping up for the season so that they can make headway in their careers. In some ways, these guys might be hurt the most compared with owners and everyday MLB players. Also look at the positional distribution: Those are going to be the areas most in need, below.
NRI: An Incomplete List
“Non-Roster Invitees.” The Phillies have signed seven free agent players to minor league contracts. Many, ostensibly, with invites to Major League Spring Training. Although, we don’t know when that is, yet. So probably they report to minor league camp because I don’t see any big money guys taking a step back here, and they’ll all want to be up to speed to compete, if needed. Here are the seven:
3B Yairo Munoz
(the rest are all RHP, and all relievers, as far as I can tell)
OK, let’s see if we can put together a roster with available players:
notes: Garrett Stubbs may have been optioned just prior to the lockout, leaving Marchan and Donny Sands to battle it out to back up J.T. Realmuto in Philadelphia. Sands has options too, I believe, but in reality I’m projecting Marchan and Stubbs here eventually, with O’Hoppe in Reading.
notes: Daniel Brito is listed here as well, but he’ll likely need a little more time to rehab from his brain injury suffered last year. Ali Castillo is back in the organization and it’s likely we’ll see him this summer, along with some AA guys who may be on the list for promotion: Matt Kroon, Luke Miller, Madison Stokes, and of course fan favorite Sal Gozzo.
notes: That’s the list. Look for some signings. Perhaps a minor league depth guy or two, plus some major league talent to push a couple of those guys down who need the playing time in triple-A.
RHP Mark Appel
RHP Colton Eastman
RHP Jack Perkins
LHP David Parkinson
notes: A couple optioned fellas will add to this group, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a minor league signing either.
Copy that RHP list above, plus a couple names you might remember:
RHP Mike Adams
LHP Ethan Evanko
LHP Jakob Hernandez
LHP Brian Marconi
LHP Braeden Ogle
LHP Jeffrey Singer
LHP Kyle Dohy
RHP Braden Zarbnisky (easy name to mis-spell, eh Matt?)
notes: There might be another couple that could come up from Reading–just as some of these guys could be headed back. Expect an optioned player or four as the big league team adds to their depth after the lockout is over.
So that’s your first look at potential IronPigs. Things will change, as they always do. The big thing this week is if they can get the CBA signed–some are more optimistic than others–and get things started on time. Once that happens, the Phillies will add MLB depth (or, starters) and we’ll be able to project the options better. I’m looking for the Phillies to quickly add MLB outfielders, MLB reliever or two, and a variety of veteran infield and starting pitching depth. Some of the guys who sign in those groups will initially be on minor league deals because the 40-man is full. Some will finish on the Phillies, some will finish elsewhere and a couple might make it to the IronPigs. Look for the next roster post around when those signings get made, whenever that may be. Or, if things really drag, we’ll update as the phillies start to fill out their work groups in advance of the minor league season.
see you at the park,
PS: I likely missed a guy or two. Maybe just I forgot. Maybe I didn’t list because I consider that fella an MLB player only or I consider him a lock for AA or lower. Let me know in the comments, though.