Opening day is right around the corner. Before long, the Phillies will whittle their roster down to their best 25 players before March 29's opener in Atlanta. Here is our best educated guess as to what that 25 will be.
The Line up
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
As much as Scott Kingery as impressed this spring and last season Hernandez will get the nod to start the season.
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2. Odubel Herrera, OF
He was the future of the franchise two seasons ago when he burst on the scene. Now it's time to play like an All-Star.
3. Carlos Santana, 1B
Santata will anchor the Phils' line up with discipline and power.
4. Rhys Hoskins OF
Can Hoskins lead the Phillies in homers again?
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
Like Herrera, Franco needs to show he belongs as a franchise cornerstone.
6. Nick Williams, OF
Williams will get his first extended look as he tries to prove himself as a corner outfielder with pop.
7. J.P. Crawford, SS
Crawford was the Phillies top prospect for years. His day has finally come.
8. Jorge Alfaro, C
Alfaro has all the tools of a big league catcher and could be the next Carlos Ruiz.
1. Jake Arrieta
The true ace and big name free agent the Phillies have longed for. He should be ready to go when the season starts.
2. Aaron Nola
However, the opening day start might go to Nola who really is the ace 1B of this team.
3. Vincent Velasquez
The Phillies are holding out hope that the strikeout machine Velasquez once showed he could be will return.
4. Nick Pivetta, 5. Ben Lively
With Jerad Eickhoff on the DL, it will be up to the youngsters to round out the rotation. Don't be surprised if more than just these two hurlers occupy the bottom of the rotation
Mark Leiter Jr., Hector Neris, Pat Neshek, Luis Garcia, Tommy Hunter, Edubray Ramos, Adam Morgan
The bullpen looks like a point of strength, at least on paper, with Neris set to close again, Neshek to set up, and Hunter and Garcia eating important late innings. Morgan and Leiter will serve as long-inning relievers and potential spot starters as the season drags on.
Aaron Altherr, Cameron Rupp, Scott Kingery, Pedro Florimon, Ryan Flaherty
Phillies new skipper Gabe Kapler will emphasize durability with his bench, which is why veterans Florimon and Flaherty, guys who can play multiple positions, look like good bets. Kingery too, is playing some third base in camp while Altherr can play all three outfield spots. Rupp will back up Alfaro and continue to be a locker room leader.