Phillies Mailbag: Center Field, Lefty Relievers, Kingery’s Future
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies mailbag. Each week we take your questions and answer them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill Tuesdays at 2:40 p.m. Submit any time on Twitter @FrankKlose
Now that Odubel Herrera didn't make the roster, who will come up first if there is an injury to Roman Quinn or Adam Haseley?
I think this will depend on the circumstances surrounding the injury. Is this a long-term injury? Will there be a starting possibility in the outfield? Or will the Phillies seek to add a bench bat?
I think a short-term injury will lead the Phillies to bring up either Mickey Moniak or Nick Maton. The reason for that is simply that they are both on the 40-man roster and can easily be optioned back to Triple-A. So a shorter, perhaps 10-day stint for anyone would not cause a big shakeup.
If it's long-term I think there will be more of a decision. For one, will the Phillies have to remove a player from the 40-man roster to add Herrera? Or will there happen to be space at the time? Did Moniak get enough at bats at Triple-A to show the Phillies something?
The Phillies seem to want Moniak to play, whether he is up or down. I'm eager to see the outfield alignment at Triple-A when the season opens. Is Moniak the center fielder with Herrera in a corner? That could play into the discussion as well.
I still think that Herrera will have an uphill climb to see the light of the major leagues again for the Phillies. I would even go far as to say that it may be even more likely than not he never plays for the Phillies again.
Why would the Phillies only carry one lefty in the bullpen?
This one somewhat surprised me as well. I thought for sure that the moment the Phillies declined to carry Tony Watson and his $3 million salary, it was because the Phillies were going to carry both Jose Alvarado and Jojo Romero. But unless there is a surprise trade or signing, the Phillies are going to move forward with just Alvarado to start.
I can come up with two possibilities for this.
One could be that in the opening matchup, the Phillies are facing mostly right-handed hitters and they feel Sean Coonrod might match up a little better. Aside from Freddie Freeman, the other power is right-handed in Ronald Acuña, Jr., Marcell Ozuna, and Cristian Pache.
Maybe Romero comes up before the Mets series?
The other possibility is that the role of the "Loogy" is somewhat diminished. That is because the three-batter rule carries over to 2021. Relievers are not going to be able to come into games for one tough lefty and leave. Late in games, the likes of Archie Bradley and Brandon Kintzler might suffice for now.
But I probably would have preferred to keep Romero around, personally. I did like what I saw from him this Spring. I'm sure we will see him sooner than later.
What future does Scott Kingery have with the Phillies?
This is a very difficult question to answer. At one point in time, some felt that Kingery would be a starting middle infielder, most likely a second baseman. But the Phillies are committed the next two years up the middle with Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura.
Their best offensive prospect, Bryson Stott, plays those two positions.
So is Kingery an outfielder then? This is a tough one. The Phillies will probably want Mickey Moniak in center field at Triple-A to see what his future will be. Do they play Kingery in left field so that they can see if he can replace Andrew McCutchen next year?
Most importantly, Kingery needs to find his bat. Did he lose the bat with the ongoing revolving door of hitting coaches? Was it the outside consultant that Kingery worked with prior to the 2017 season?
If Kingery can hit, the Phillies will find a place for him.
But the Phillies are in on Kingery in a big way; he'll earn $4 million this year, $6 million next year, and $8 million in 2023. The Phillies will want to get a return on that money. I would say they still believe in the talent, but they need to figure out just what they have.