It would seem the Philadelphia Phillies addition of Whit Merrifield will be the final piece of their roster puzzle.

Philadelphia signed the super utilityman to a one-year deal with a club option for 2025, giving the Phillies a right-handed-hitting option that plays all three outfield spots and multiple infield positions.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson said on Monday that he sees Merrifield splitting time between second base and the outfield, giving guys says off and hitting all over the lineup. Thomson said he likes to keep his lineup pretty consistent throughout the season, but that Merrifield is the kind of guy that can move up and down.

97.3 ESPN logo
Get our free mobile app

"He could fit anywhere," Thomson said on Monday. "Just depends on who you're going to take out of the lineup on any given day. He has hit at the top of the lineup, the bottom of the lineup."

Thomson may have played his hand a bit, saying if Kyle Schwarber needed a day off, Merrifield could hit leadoff.  Thomson later said he wasn't sure where Schwarber would be hitting this season.

"I don't know," Thomson said when pressed if Schwarber would hit leadoff this season. "I really don't, we've had one workout, I haven't decided on what the lineup will be.  It will be a conversation with a lot of people."

While Merrifield told reporters he doesn't have a first basemen's mitt, Thomson joked that the team would buy him one. Merrifield told the skipper he could play either corner infield position, but to give him a heads up a few days before, so he knew it was coming.

Merrifield slashed .272/.318/.382 with 11 homers, 67 RBI and 26 stolen bases last year with the Toronto Blue Jays.

He played 145 games last year, but the Phillies will have to find different ways to get him in the lineup everyday, and Thomson admitted that will be a challenge.

Throughout his career, Merrifield has played seven different positions, but has played 718 games at second base and 365 games in the outfield. Last year in Toronto he played 84 games at second and 84 games in the outfield.

Overall in his career he has played Defensively, he has appeared in 718 games at second base, 181 at right field, 119 at left field, 88 at center field, 15 at first base and six at third base.

The Phillies will likely pick 13 position players for Opening Day.

The current roster looks like Bryce Harper, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, Alec Bohm as the everyday starting infield. In the outfield there is Brandon Marsh, Johan Rojas and Nick Castellanos with JT Realmuto behind the plate.

The backup catcher is Garrett Stubbs, and Merrifield is a super utility man, leaving three more decisions on building a bench.

Edmundo Sosa, Christian Pache, Jake Cave, Kody Clemens, Rodolfo Castro, Darick Hall, and Weston Wilson are all in the mix for those final three spots.

With Merrifield in the mix, who can play both infield and outfield, you wonder how that effects the rest of the roster decisions.

Sosa stands out in that group as a guy who can play multiple positions, including shortstop. Cave, Clemens and Hall are all left-handed bats, but Cave can play outfield and first base. Clemens plays multiple positions, while Hall is just a first baseman. Wilson is another player who has positional versatility and hits right-handed.

My guess is the three players are Sosa, Cave and Pache.

The Ultimate South Jersey Pizza Guide


More From 97.3 ESPN