Kintzler, Joyce Make Phillies, Howard Optioned to Alternate Site
The Phillies roster is just about complete. Three key moves were announced by the Phillies on Friday afternoon, after we learned that Tony Watson would opt out of his minor league deal. Two veterans will indeed be part of the Phillies roster, while a promising young player heads to the minors.
Brandon Kintzler will be part of the Phillies bullpen in 2021. After being pretty much the strongest reliever on the Marlins in 2020 and Chicago Cubs in 2019, Kintzler will join with Archie Bradley and Hector Neris to build the back-end of the Phillies bullpen. All three have closer experience.
Matt Joyce earned a spot on the Phillies roster as a left-handed pinch-hitter and reserve outfielder. Joyce was signed because of his experience pinch hitting. The National League will not have a designated hitter in 2021, and pinch hitting will once again be a significant role on the team.
Starter Spencer Howard has been optioned to the Alternate Training Camp site. Howard was competing for a spot in the starting rotation, but back spasms slowed his development this Spring. The Phillies hope to have a healthy Howard in tow should they need another starter.
The Phillies will need to clear space on the 40-man roster for Kintzler and Joyce. They have until Saturday to do so. One of those spots will come in the form of Simon Muzziotti's roster spot. Muzziotti was invited to Spring Training in 2021, but has yet to report due to visa issues.
The Phillies have not announced a decision on Odubel Herrera just yet. He will need to be added to the roster if he makes the team. But with Joyce on the team along with Roman Quinn and a healthy Adam Haseley, Herrera might not have the opportunity right now.