Phillies Youth Movement: A Look Back at Opening Day Roster


If it wasn’t already crystal clear, last Wednesday night’s announcement of longtime second baseman Chase Utley’s trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers signified one thing: the Phillies youth movement is officially here.

With September call-ups looming, now is the perfect time to peek back at the opening day 25-man roster that the Phils trotted out to take on the Boston Red Sox on April 6. It’s safe to say a roster that

Starting Pitchers

Cole Hamels – traded to Texas Rangers along with Jake Diekman and cash for a slew of prospects (Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, Jorge Alfaro, Alec Asher and recently-promoted Jerad Eickhoff) and the oft-injured Matt Harrison.

Aaron Harang – still with team, despite his 1-9 record and 8.40 ERA in his last 10 starts.

David Buchanan – sent down to AAA Lehigh Valley after a string of rough outings, including a historically bad start in the desert on 8/11

Jerome Williams – still with team and had shown signs of life, giving up just 1 ER in each of his first three August starts.  Was shelled in the series opener against Miami, though.  Giving up 8 ER on 8 hits in just 1.2 IP

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Jonathan Papelbon – traded to Washington Nationals for minor leaguer Nick Pivetta after having an All-Star first half.

Jake Diekman – included in Hamels deal, has made 12 appearances for Rangers, posting a 2.19 ERA and 0.65 WHIP

Ken Giles – Giles, after impressing as Papelbon’s set-up man, has shifted into the closer’s role with tremendous early success. Since assuming the closer’s role, Giles is 10/10 in save opportunities.

Aug 4, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles (53) reacts after getting the final out during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Justin De Fratus – still with team, has struggled with baserunners this season (1.54 WHIP in 52 appearances)

Luis Garcia – Garcia has assumed Giles’ role as the team’s primary set-up man, and has recorded 13 holds this year, leading you to think he’s earned a shot to open the 2016 season as the set-up man.

Jeanmar Gomez – the 27 year-old has posted a 2.85 ERA in 2015, setting himself up to have a future with the team.

Cesar Jimenez – Jimenez was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers on waivers last week.

Dustin McGowan – demoted to AAA following a disastrous string of appearances in the month of June


Carlos Ruiz – still with team, managed to build up his BA to .260 in mid-May, but hasn’t found his stroke shince then.  Chooch has hit .176 in 41 games since May 22

Cameron Rupp – getting a majority of the starts behind the dish and playing his best baseball yet in the big leagues


Cody Asche – the Opening Day third-baseman started hot before somebody named Maikel Franco started tearing the cover off the ball  in the minors.  Asche admirably accepted an assignment to the minors to learn to play the outfield and has posted a slash line of .262/.301/.402 since returning as a LF on May 29

Freddy Galvis – Galvis garnered some All-Star consideration when his BA sat at .355 halfway through May, though Galvis has cooled off considerably since then and questions have been asked about his range at SS

Chase Utley – traded to Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects Darnell Sweeney and John Richy (not Jon Ritchie).  For the first time since late 2003, the Delaware Valley woke up with a new second baseman this past Thursday

Ryan Howard – “The big piece” has continued his post 2000’s trend of getting into power spurts but his batting average continues to deteriorate as he and Ruiz serve as the final remaining members of the 2008 World Series team

Darin Ruf – his numbers aren’t all that impressive, as the ship seems to have sailed on Ruf as a prospect

Andres Blanco – still with team, contributes as utilityman, has a knack for extra-base hits, as denoted by his .540 SLG%. 17 of Blanco’s 33 hits this season have gone fore extra bases

Cesar Hernandez – received a glowing, albeit controversial, endorsement from Ruben Amaro. Seems to be an everyday big-league hitter, but questions linger about his glove.


Ben Revere – traded to Toronto Blue Jays for a pair of minor league pitchers (Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado).  Revere is hitting .211 since joining the first-place Blue Jays

Odubel Herrera – still with team, the Rule 5 Draft Pick appears to be another find, Herrera has spent much of the season perched atop the Phillies lineup.  Herrera has a legitimate chance to be a part of the team’s future

Philadelphia Phillies CF Odubel Herrera (37) reacts after hitting a first-inning double against the Milwaukee Brewers. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Grady Sizemore – after being DFA’d, Sizemore caught on with the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s hit 6 HR since joining TB in June

Jeff Francoeur – still with team, this guy is one of just a handful of remaining veterans left on the Phillies roster

In total, the Phillies have flipped the combination of Hamels, Papelbon, Utley, Diekman and Revere into 11 assets.  It’s just a matter of time before Amaro (or whoever is in his position following this season) starts talking about “optionality” as the team’s front office preaches the importance of patience to its fanbase.

All kidding aside, the Phillies are far better-positioned now than they were before the trade deadline or at the beginning of the season.  The prospects acquired at the deadline have been performing well above expectations in the minor leagues since joining the organization and Franco, Aaron Nola, Adam Morgan and recent call up Aaron Altherr have all displayed a nice snapshot of what could be in the not so distant future.

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