We are back once again with a 97.3 ESPN #Phillies Mailbag.  We take your questions every week and answer them on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill.  Tune in Tuesday afternoons to hear your questions answered on the air.  Ask anytime @FrankKlose on X.

Will the team try to speed up the process to make a trade for an outfielder with injuries starting to pile up? If so, are there any players that might be available that would make sense in the trade market?

The Phillies lost not one, but two potential outfield options in one day on Monday when both Brandon Marsh and Kody Clemens were placed on the 10-day injured list.  Marsh injured his hamstring; Clemens was having lower back spasms.  In their place, David Dahl and Weston Wilson joined the Phillies roster.

But I do not anticipate any moves in the near future.

For one, it's not a bad idea to get a look at Dahl.  In 2019, Dahl was impressive for the Colorado Rockies, a National League All-Star who batted .302 with 15 home runs in 100 games.  After that, he seemed to fall off a cliff and bounced around from Texas to San Diego before signing a minor league deal with the Phillies.

At Triple-A he was stellar.  In Lehigh Valley, Dahl was hitting .340 with 12 home runs and a 1.076 OPS.  Those are some strong numbers.

The Phillies decided to call him up.  I think they're going to use the short-term to see if they have anything here.  The doubt might come from four unproductive seasons since 2019.  But players have figured it out before.  Is he someone who will, or another Aaron Altherr or Dominic Brown who has an early-career surge and then cools off?

Meanwhile, the Phillies are likely interested in seeing what Whit Merrifield can do.  It's fair to say he's struggled in his early going, and without Turner or Clemens, he's likely to see some more time at either second base or left field, mainly against left-handed pitching.

It's also worth noting that Phillies manager Rob Thomson called the injuries to Marsh and Clemens "mild".  So they could return in short order.  Until then, I think the Phillies would like to see what Dahl and Clemens can do.

Why not leave Bryson Stott at shortstop and put Trea Turner at second base when he returns? Defense is better with that alignment. Turner played second base with Corey Seager.

This is an idea that I hear come up now and then.  It's very true that Trea Turner was struggling a bit in the field, though he was succeeding offensively.  It's also true that Turner played second base alongside Corey Seager in Los Angeles.  But let's keep a couple things in mind.

The first thing I would like to remind us of is that when Bryson Stott was drafted by the Phillies, the scouts tended to believe that he would end up at second base in the long-term.  When he originally supplanted Didi Gregorius in 2022, he was the superior shortstop of the two.

But almost immediately upon being drafted there were some questions about Stott's defense and his ability to stay at shortstop.  He has performed admirably in the few games he has played there this year, but the Phillies have given those opportunities mostly to Edmundo Sosa, who himself could play second base.

Turner, meanwhile, has been open that he prefers shortstop.  When Seager left the Dodgers as a free agent, Turner became the club's shortstop.  At the time, he spoke emphatically about returning to shortstop:

"...For me individually, I’m excited to play shortstop again. Feels so much more normal and natural. Felt like I was almost playing left-handed at second base, but it’ll be good to prove that I can play it at a high level and ... one of my focuses this Spring Training is getting ground balls over there, putting in the reps and getting ready for that.”

The Phillies made an 11-year commitment to Turner to be a shortstop, and I believe he will have an extended time to show he belongs there.

If ultimately he does move from shortstop, I do not believe it will be during a season.  Some have suggested Turner play the outfield; he played 73 games in center field with the Washington Nationals as a rookie.

Those types of questions will be answered in the offseasons ahead.  I tend to think Stott is a second baseman going forward.  If Turner is going to move - that would probably be part of a bigger roster overhaul.  Therefore, I do not think that the two players would simply switch positions.

How is Kolby Allard still on the 40 man? Look at his stats?

It's typical in an offseason that a team add a number of players who likely would be ticketed for Triple-A but who might be able to bring something to the big club.  One such player would be the aforementioned David Dahl.  But the Phillies added a couple of starters with big league experience and minor league options.  It was a way of stashing available arms in the system for when one is needed.

One of those arms was Spencer Turnbull.  Turnbull has been excellent for the Phillies, first serving as a fill-in starter and then capably out of the bullpen since.  Turnbull is 3-0 with a 2.64 ERA over six starts and seven relief appearances.  Turnbull's 2023 minor league option was reversed after an injury kept him from pitching and therefore he could be optioned to the minor leagues (not that they would right now).

Another was Kolby Allard.  The former Atlanta Braves pitcher would be starting pitcher depth, and also had a minor league option remaining.   Allard, as opposed to Turnbull, has not found success so far in 2024.  He is currently 0-5 with a 9.96 ERA and has lost his starting rotation spot.

But as to why he is still there?  Well, there's no real sense of urgency to remove him, potentially losing the player.

The Phillies needed a 40-man roster spot yesterday when they purchased the contract of Dahl from Triple-A.  Did not not need to remove anyone from the roster, though, as pitcher Michael Rucker could be moved to the 60-day injured list.  Rucker appeared in two Spring Training games and was shut down with a right hand arterial vasospasm.


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