We are back with a 97.3 ESPN Phillies mailbag.  Send your questions to @FrankKlose on Twitter and we will talk about them on Tuesday afternoons on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill at 3:00 p.m.

Shouldn't Alec Bohm play?

The Phillies are indeed facing a question: Should Alec Bohm, first round pick and best offensive prospect in the organization, join the Phillies from Opening Day, July 24?  The answer could depend on a couple factors.

The first is whether or not Bohm would be taking an entire year of team control away for just a 60-game season.  Yesterday, we learned from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that bonuses would be tied to a pro-rated number of games.  That could be the case for service time for rookies, too.

In a normal season, if a player spends less than 172 days on a major league roster out of the 187 days, that player will not accrue his first major league season.  Pro-rated, that's just six days.  I think that the Phillies could handle being without Bohm for the first week of games while they get under way.

The second consideration would be whether or not the Phillies are healthy.  As of right now, it looks like all four Phillies infielders could be ready to go, including Scott Kingery, who battled COVID-19.  If not, the Phillies have Logan Forsythe, Josh Harrison, Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes to help.  Will they need Bohm after all that?

Probably not.  So, maybe Bohm is a "taxi-squad" member before he hits the roster, that might be a good plan.

Ranger Suarez looked good in Spring Training and seemed like he had a good chance at a spot in the rotation. Do you think he still has a chance at that with his being out of camp with no explanation for so long?

If I had to choose on March 12th who I felt should be the fifth starter for the Phillies, I would have chosen Ranger Suarez.  But alas, Suarez might be but the Phillies won't say he is on the COVID-19 list right now.  Officially listed on the 10-day injured list, Suarez has not really gotten things underway yet.

While I am not privy to his condition, I think that Suarez has earned himself some consideration if healthy.  But given the fact that games start next week, I might be skeptical of Suarez being ready.

Right now we know that Zach Wheeler could take a paternity leave.  Neither Vince Velasquez or Nick Pivetta have convinced the world that they are starters who will go deep into games.  And, Spencer Howard might be held out like Bohm has.

So the Phillies will need pitching.

Yesterday, we learned the Phillies will take as many as 16 pitchers to start the season. Even if Suarez is not one of those 16, I cannot help but think he could factor into the season in a big way at some point.  After all, he was a very reliable reliever last year.

Do you think that the Phillies will sign J.T. Realmuto soon?

At this point, I am skeptical that J.T. Realmuto will be signed anytime soon. I am skeptical by the fact that no deal is done just yet.  But even more, after I have reflected more about the nature of negotiations and his agent, Jeff Berry, that the agent's intention is to maximize every dollar.

Realmuto has always been trying to hold out for the last dollar.  In fact, besides the Phillies, Realmuto went to arbitration with the Miami Marlins.  Realmuto lost both cases.  But the comment is clear: get the most money possible.

I would think that the Phillies have the money.  I would think that Realmuto likes Philadelphia.  But for some players neither thing matters.

Before fans get too upset, if Realmuto does not take the contract, the Phillies will have a chunk of money to sign a really good player.  That might have to be what tells the tale at the very end.

Phillies First-Round Picks Since 2000


More From 97.3 ESPN