Phillies Face Outfield Roster Dilemma With Quinn Returning
This Spring seemed like it might finally be the opportunity for outfielder Roman Quinn to show that he belonged on a major league roster. Coming into Spring Training healthy, the speedy, talented Quinn might have had a shot. That was until he got hurt again. 2019 began and Quinn was on the injured list.
The calendar did not even turn to the month of March yet when Quinn strained his oblique. Such an injury is only remedied by rest. Quinn did not appear again in Grapefruit League action as he took the required rest to nurse himself back to health. Quinn spent the last few days with the Clearwater Threshers. He appears ready to go.
In nine at bats against High-A Dunedin, Quinn collected four hits, including a home run. Quinn also stole a base. But for the Phillies to bring Quinn into the fold they face a roster dilemma. Quinn is out of options, as is outfielder Aaron Altherr. Nick Williams has an option remaining.
So what can the Phillies do? There are three options:
- Designate Altherr for assignment and activate Quinn
- Option Williams to Triple-A Lehigh Valley
- Designate Quinn for assignment
None of those three options is particularly attractive for the Phillies.
So far in 2019, Williams has appeared at the plate seven times, serving as a pinch-hitter. The Phillies could argue that Williams needs to start every day at Triple-A to keep his value should the club need an outfielder. Williams has one hit in those seven at bats, for a .143 batting average, driving in one run with his lone single.
Altherr most surely would be claimed by another team should the Phillies attempt to outright Altherr to Triple-A. Complicating matters is that Altherr would be the lone organizational center field depth should Quinn return and get injured again. That might be a risk that is tough to take.
Quinn probably needs to show the value he can bring to the major leagues without any further delay. Frequent injury has kept him from doing so. But in a small sample size, Quinn has shown to have some power, speed, defense, and ability to hit for average. That might be too much to simply give up by designating Quinn for assignment. He would also likely be claimed.
The Phillies will have to make a decision sooner or later, perhaps during this current homestand.