It’s showtime! The 2023 postseason kicks off in just a few hours as the Philadelphia Phillies host the Miami Marlins in a National League Wild Card showdown. The victor gets a date with the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series. The loser? A 9:00 AM tee time this Friday on a course of their choosing.
At 10:36 AM on Tuesday, Philadelphia unveiled their 26-man roster for the Wild Card Series:
Right-Handed Pitchers (7): Seranthony Dominguez, Jeff Hoffman, Orion Kerkering, Craig Kimbrel, Aaron Nola, Taijuan Walker, Zack Wheeler
Left-Handed Pitchers (5): Jose Alvarado, Cristopher Sanchez, Gregory Soto, Matt Strahm, Ranger Suarez
Infielders (6): Alec Bohm, Bryce Harper, Edmundo Sosa, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, Weston Wilson
Outfielders (6): Nick Castellanos, Jake Cave, Brandon Marsh, Cristian Pache, Johan Rojas, Kyle Schwarber
Catchers (2): J.T. Realmuto, Garrett Stubbs
Less Pitching, More Flexibility, and More Kerkering for the Phillies
The Phillies are carrying 12 total pitchers for the NLDS with one very notable absence: Michael Lorenzen. With a three-game series, there is less of a need for starting pitchers on the roster, so they have apparently elected to not utilize Lorenzen against the Marlins and will instead carry 14 position players for added positional flexibility.
Among that flexibility, both Jake Cave and Weston Wilson have earned spots on the Wild Card roster. Manager Rob Thomson loves to play the matchups game, so a larger bench may be playing into his gameplan. Additionally, should Bryce Harper need rest from first base, having Cave and Wilson increases the flexibility of the lineup card in the infield.
Orion Kerkering, who began this season in Single-A Clearwater has skyrocketed through the Phillies’ system this season, making his MLB debut on September 24. With three relief appearances under his belt, allowing one run on two hits with six strikeouts over three innings, the Phillies have deemed him worthy of a spot on the playoff roster.
Zack Wheeler will start Game One with Aaron Nola set to start Game Two Wednesday night. If a Game Three is needed, the Phillies have options between Taijuan Walker, Cristopher Sanchez, and Ranger Suarez. Despite his omission in the Wild Card Series roster, Phillies fans can expect Michael Lorenzen to return to the roster in the NLDS against the Braves should the Phillies advance.
8:08 P.M. cannot come fast enough for the Phaithful this Tuesday. If you are among the many who need a hit of energy to get through the day (or to run through a wall), then enjoy the hype video from the Phillies below:
Let Red October begin!
AP Photo/Matt Slocum