Two More Phillies’ Players Enter Centerfield Competition
Heading into Spring Training, there were three key positions that the Phillies needed to address in terms of who will be on the roster and starting come Opening Day. After a few weeks of uneventful Spring Training news, this past week has provided some more questions, rather than answers as we inch closer to Opening Day.
One of the biggest questions for the Phillies is who will be starting in centerfield this season. Entering Spring Training, there were three main players in competition for centerfield. Those players were Adam Haseley, Scott Kingery, and Roman Quinn. That player pool has grown to five over the past week as Odubel Herrera and Mickey Moniak have both performed well to kick off Grapefruit League play in Clearwater, Florida.
Former number one overall pick Mickey Moniak homered twice in the Phillies’ 15-0 victory against the New York Yankees yesterday. The second home run was hit out of the ballpark. Moniak entered the game in the fifth inning and homered twice. He now has three hits in six spring at-bats.
In my initial roster predictions, I had Moniak making the Opening Day roster on the bench, with his main priority being left field behind Andrew McCutchen. The 22-year old did reach the majors last year and failed to impress in just 14 at-bats. In 2019, he spent the year in the Minor Leagues at Double-A Reading and slashed .252/.303/.439. He led the Minor League circuit with 13 triples. It’s unlikely that Moniak will land a spot on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster. Moniak is clearly bigger and stronger this year and has obviously impressed in camp. Given the uncertainty surrounding the centerfield position and the experience of the other candidates it looks like Moniak will be line for a call-up to the majors this summer.
The controversy surrounding candidate number two is still very evident this Spring. If you want an example of how fans look at Odubel Herrera, check out the Phillies’ tweet from yesterday when Herrera absolutely crushed a home run. Odubel Herrera is 3-for-6 with one home run, one RBI, one stolen base and one strikeout this Spring. He has also flashed his glove in the outfield and has been tremendous on the base paths.
Adam Haseley hit the second pitch of the Phillies’ Grapefruit League season for an opposite-field homerun. He is currently 2-for-7 with one home run, one RBI, two walks, and two strikeouts. Scott Kingery hit a solo home run yesterday and is 2-for-9 with one home run, one RBI, and three strikeouts. Roman Quinn is 1-for-5 with one walk and four strikeouts.
It’s still early in Spring Training and there’s no indication that Joe Girardi is going to make any position decisions until the final Grapefruit League game. Centerfield is definitely the position battle to watch. Right now, there’s no reason to think that the order is still Haseley, Kingery, and Quinn, with Herrera and Moniak as longshot options to make the MLB roster.
Herrera and Moniak are both non-roster invites to Spring Training this year, which lands them on the outside looking in. Right now, I would say that both Haseley and Kingery are locks to make the roster given their position flexibility. Could Quinn fall off and give the opportunity for Herrera or Moniak to make the roster? Absolutely.
The Phillies are back on TV today vs the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 PM. Chase Anderson gets the start and Spencer Howard will pitch in relief. Bryce Harper will make his Spring Training Debut.