Some notes from The City Of Brotherly Love…
- With a full 40-man roster, the Phillies have several tough choices to make before Opening Day, CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury writes. Chris Coghlan, Daniel Nava and Brock Stassi are in camp on minor league deals and, if any make the team, someone else would have to be displaced. The Phils have two bench spots open, in Salisbury’s estimation, plus another bench spot for the backup catcher (either Andrew Knapp or Ryan Hanigan, the latter of whom isn’t on the 40-man).
- The Phillies’ five-year, $30.5MM extension with Odubel Herrera is already looking like a shrewd move for the team compared to other extensions for center fielders, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. The Braves signed Ender Inciarte to a similar extension (five years and $30.525MM, with a sixth year option) while the Rays locked Kevin Kiermaier up for six years and an option for $53.5MM. All three are strong-to-great defenders but Herrera is the best hitter of the trio, Murphy notes, plus a year younger. The extension also allows the Phillies future flexibility under the luxury tax, making it especially valuable for a big-market club that aims to spending freely once it emerges from its rebuilding phase.
- General manager Matt Klentak sat down with MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand for an interview detailing how Klentak got his start in baseball, his path to becoming Philadelphia’s GM, some of the Phillies’ offseason moves and more.
- Sean Burnett took a rather extreme measure to combat his elbow pain in 2013, the southpaw told PhillyVoice.com’s Ryan Lawrence last week. Burnett was dealing with a damaged ligament that was not quite damaged enough to require Tommy John surgery (Burnett had already undergone a TJ operation in 2004), so he decided to force the issue. “I would go back to my [hotel] room, set up some pillows on the headboard and would chuck balls at it hoping it would pop just so I could get it fixed,” Burnett said. “The pain I was in was excruciating. I knew it wasn’t going to get any better. If you throw a ball long enough you know what it’s going to take and how your body feels.” Burnett’s elbow finally gave out during a game against the Mariners in May 2014 and he underwent the surgery, which kept him out of action until this past September when he returned to the big leagues in the Nationals bullpen. After signing a minor league deal with the Phillies this winter, Burnett is competing to be the second lefty in Philadelphia’s bullpen.