Phillies General Manager Matt Klentak held a zoom call with the media today. Here are some of the highlights and tidbits in no particular order from that call.
-A small handful of players will be on the Covid list to start Spring Training 2.0. As more tests results come in, a few more may be added. You must have 2 negative tests to be reinstated and permitted to be with the team after a positive test.
-Zack Wheeler will leave the team for the birth of his child. He will not be taking an extended leave though.
-The Phillies will most likely not use a set DH. It will be rotated between the bench players and some of the everyday fielders to keep bats in the lineup but get some rest from the field.
-Andrew McCutchen is 100%. He finished his rehab about 3 weeks ago and seems to be ready to go.
-Alex Bohm and Spencer Howard will contribute at some point. But they will not be pushed.
-None of the Phillies have informed Klentak they plan to “opt out”
-They did not fill all 60 spots yet becuase it is easier to add then subtract. They plan on adding another catcher or 2 in the coming days.
-Odubel Herrera was considered for the 60 man player pool and will continue to be considered.
-JT’s extension is still too early to call on. There is too much uncertainty right now in baseball and in the long haul. They were not permitted to talk extension with him during the shut down.
Opinion: From what I can gather most of this is as expected. Two things stuck out to me as I followed along to several reporters accounts of the call. First Andrew McCutchen being 100%. That is huge to this team and they were much better last year with him at the top of their lineup than without him. And secondly the JT’s extension talk. I do not like to read too much into it, but it may seem Klentak is dragging his feet a bit there. If JT walks at the end of the season, it will be a complete disaster for the franchise. There is no way that the Phillies front office can allow that to happen, no matter what the financial situation is throughout baseball. Matt Klentak sounds so unsure of the situation. This has to be where John Middleton steps in like he did with signing Bryce Harper and get the deal done. If Realmuto leaves the Phillies in the offseason I can guarantee Klentak will no longer be employeed by the Phillies either
All in all though baseball is almost back… time to start breaking down the roster in the coming weeks! Let me know your thoughts and opinions on the call, JT’s contract, and all things Phillies!