The Phillies Opening Day roster is set – for now – and Johan Rojas made the team and will be the Opening Day centerfielder, just as the Phillies hoped he would.

The reason for it is because he has done everything they asked him to do.

Don’t look at the statistics from Grapefruit League action. Entering the final Spring Training game Monday, Rojas had 55 plate appearances. He was 9-for-53 (.170), walked twice, upping the on-base percentage to a lofty .200, struck out nine times and had an OPS of .464.

But the Phillies told Rojas at the start of the Spring not to worry about the numbers. Just to concentrate on the changes that they worked on all winter. They wanted him to be more selective and not chase as many pitches. They want him to use his lower half more on his swing and concentrate more on syncing that up with his actual swing. Most importantly, they didn’t want him to abandon the changes if he wasn’t getting results.

He got much better with selectivity as the spring wore on. Manager Rob Thomson has talked repeatedly about his 9-hole hitter having to be able to grind out at bats. He’d like for that hitter, whoever it is on a given day, to be able to eat up about 20 pitches from opposing pitchers.

Earlier in the spring, Rojas wasn’t doing that at all. There was a lot of swinging at the first pitch. After a couple weeks, he started to get better and better at seeing pitches. He worked one of his two walks on Sunday.

After that game, Thomson told reporters, “If he has the type of game he has today, where he doesn’t get a hit and he sees 18-20 pitches in that nine-spot, and he gets a walk, and gets on base, then all hell breaks loose. He’s an exciting player. He makes people nervous when he’s out there on the bases. Any way he can get on base is great. And if he can chew up pitches, he’s really good in that nine spot.”

The Phillies don’t need Rojas to hit .302 as he did in his rookie campaign a season ago. Heck, they don’t even need him to hit .250. They’d take either, for sure, but it’s not necessary.

But he also can’t have that .170/.200/.264 slash line from Spring Training either. That’s paltry.

However, because of the runs he saves on defense, if he could hit, say, .225 and have an OPS above .600, then he’s incredibly beneficial to the Phillies.

It’s a gamble though, and the Phillies know it, which is why Cristian Pache also appears to have made the Opening Day roster. Pache is a superb defensive outfielder as well and a better hitter right now than Rojas against lefties – although he improved against righties this spring, which the Phillies were excited about.

Pache was out of options, so they couldn’t just tuck him away in the minors until needed and the Phillies knew if they tried to get him through waivers, he wouldn’t make it. So, they felt the insurance for Rojas was more important to hold on to than a left-handed option off the bench – which allowed them to trade Jake Cave to Colorado for cash considerations Sunday.

The Phillies will not have a lefty to pinch hit off the bench – not counting backup catcher Garrett Stubbs – as the other three bench roles go to Pache, Edmundo Sosa, and Whit Merrifield.

But when you look at the Phillies starting nine, who do you need a lefty on the bench to pinch hit for in a key spot?

Kyle Schwarber? Nope.

Trea Turner? Nope.

Bryce Harper? Nope.

J.T. Realmuto? Nope.

Bryson Stott? Nope.

Alec Bohm? Nope.

Nick Castellanos? Nope.

Brandon Marsh? Nope.

Rojas? …

O.K. There’s the one guy. But the Phillies look at it this way, If they need to bat for Rojas, they have Merrifield, who has even splits in his entire career against both lefties and righties. And if Merrifield is starting and giving one of the regulars a day off, then you have those guys off the bench to bat.

As such, needing that lefty bat off the bench isn’t as imperative. If for some reason at some point it’s needed – let’s say there’s an injury to a starter and Merrifield has to become a regular or Edmundo Sosa or Pache has to get regular at bats, and now there are a couple of guys you might consider pinch hitting for late in a close game in a clutch spot, well, then they have a couple guys who had nice springs who they can recall from the minors in Kody Clemens, who can play on the corners, and David Dahl, who had a solid enough spring to be this year’s version of Cave because he had a minor league contract and Cave was out of options.

But was it the right move? What if Rojas continues to do everything they ask and he continues to put up offensive numbers that some pitchers could best in the pre-DH days?

Well, they’ll send him down then, of course, but at that point, you have to wonder how much of a hit the confidence will have taken. What if after six weeks, he’s an automatic out and you can see it weighing on him at the plate? Sure, you still have Pache, but now you’re talking about sending a guy down in the throes of a season and hoping he can figure it out in time to get back to you, all the while the clock is ticking towards the trade deadline and the division race is continuing. If you want to beat the Braves and win the N.L. East, you might be better off mitigating risks and let him find that offense in Triple-A first and then call him up when he’s brimming with confidence.

The Phillies are betting the other way. We’ll see if it pays off.

Elsewhere on the roster, the back end of the bullpen is going to include Yunior Marte, Luis Ortiz, and Connor Brogdon.

Marte won a job with a fabulous spring. He appeared in nine games and threw 10 innings. He allowed just three hits (although he had five walks) and struck out seven. He had a 0.00 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP as opponents hit just .094 against him.

Luis Ortiz also had a very good spring, and picked up Orion Kerkering’s spot as Kerkering is starting the season on the I.L. after dealing with an extended bout with the flu that has him about two weeks behind schedule.

Ortiz pitched in eight games and threw nine innings and had a 3.00 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP with eight strikeouts.

The guy who gets the last spot in the bullpen is Connor Brogdon, although he had an inconsistent spring. Brogdon, who is out of options and was close to being DFA’d, gets the spot because of the shoulder stiffness of Taijuan Walker. With Walker starting the season on the I.L., long-reliever Spencer Turnbull is being stretched out to take Walker’s spot in the rotation. This opened a door for Brogdon to get the last spot.

“He’s a guy that was on a playoff team two years ago,” Thomson told “Pitched in a World Series and pitched great. We’re hoping to get that guy back again.”

It looked like this in that World Series:

Brogdon appeared in seven games this spring and threw 8 2/3 innings. He had a 4.15 ERA and an unsightly 1.85 WHIP. The Phillies believe there is still a really good reliever in there somewhere, but his clock is definitely ticking. The Phillies have a couple other options in the minors who could fill that role. Brogdon has to produce right away or he may not be there long.

By the way, spring and summer doesn’t have to be limited to watching the Phils. PA online casinos such as BetMGM feature a MLB-themed slots game specifically designed for baseball fans.