Pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Florida in less than a week.  As the Phillies equipment truck gets packed for a Wednesday departure with the jerseys of the current squad, their numbers were picked selectively.   The Phillies are keeping a number of Phillies legends out of circulation.

Looking at the current Phillies 40-man roster, the following numbers are not assigned heading into 2017:

  • 6 (Ryan Howard)
  • 11 (Jimmy Rollins)
  • 26 (Chase Utley)
  • 35 (Cole Hamels)
  • 51 (Carlos Ruiz)

Here is a rundown of what uniform numbers the Phillies will be sporting in 2017:

Clay Buchholz, 21
Buchholz is probably the one player that could have challenged one of the numbers above.  Coming up in the big leagues with the Boston Red Sox wearing number 61, Buchholz switched to number 11 the moment he had the opportunity.   Buchholz has stated that number 11 is his choice; he has worn the number most of his life growing up.   He will have to add 10 as the Phillies keep number 11 out of circulation for Rollins.

Michael Saunders, 5
The new Phillies outfielder may have gotten his number 21 that he wore last season had he signed earlier.   Saunders wore 55 as a member of the Seattle Mariners before wearing number 21 with the Toronto Blue Jays.   Number 5 was last worn by Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson.

Matt Stairs, 40
We may never see Stairs' jersey, since he may end up wearing a coat in the dugout anyway.  But since Mickey Morandini was on the coaching staff first (and wore number 12 first in Phillies history), Stairs ended up with another number

Howie Kendrick, 47
Kendrick's number 47 that he has worn his whole career was available with the departure of Charlie Morton to the Houston Astros.  I am not sure if it's intentional or not, but actress Anna Kendrick, who is no relation to Howie Kendrick, also includes number 47 in her Twitter handle and Instagram handle.

Prospect Number Assignments:
The Phillies next batch of players likely to make the Major Leagues have yet to been assigned a lower-issue uniform number.   Maybe it is a subtle message they will have to earn it.  They include:

  • Andrew Knapp, 64
  • Nick Williams, 65
  • J.P. Crawford, 67
  • Rhys Hoskins, 70
  • Dylan Cozens, 77

The Rest:
Here are some more number assignments of the remaining players on the roster:

  • Pat Neshek, 17
  • Joaquin Benoit, 53
  • Pedro Beato, 54
  • Sean Burnett, 15
  • Cesar Ramos, 55
  • Ryan Hanigan, 34
  • Bryan Holaday, 59
  • Taylor Featherston, 30
  • Pedro Florimon, 18
  • Hector Gomez, 62
  • Daniel Nava, 25

Chris Coghlan is yet to be assigned, but number 3 could be his.

The Phillies have a policy that states that a player needs to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in order to have a number retired.   That said, the Phillies retired number 1, worn by Richie Ashburn, prior to his induction.   It will be interesting to see if the Phillies revise their policy to retire the numbers of Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ruiz, and Hamels.   World Series winning manager Charlie Manuel saw his number 41 re-enter circulation last Spring, but the number has not been assigned so far this season.

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