The Philadelphia Phillies still have a centerfield problem
The Philadelphia Phillies are now 5-3 on the season after dropping two straight games in Atlanta at the hands of the Braves. Through the first eight games of the 2021 season, the Phillies have definitely seen more good from their ball club than bad, however they desperately need to stop the bleeding tonight on Sunday Night Baseball.
The most concerning part of the Phillies lineup is nothing new. Centerfield was a battle throughout Spring Training with Adam Haseley, Roman Quinn, Odubel Herrera, Scott Kingery, and even Mickey Moniak in contention for roster spots. As we all know, the final decision was to bring Haseley and Quinn back up to Philadelphia at the end of camp.
The Phillies continue to ask very little from their centerfielders. They bat eighth in the lineup, right ahead the pitcher and are only asked to provide solid defense. Anything additional done at the plate will be an added benefit to the already supposedly high-powered Phillies offense.
Still, the Phillies combination of Adamn Haseley and Roman Quinn entered last night’s game batting a combined .185/.267/.222 with 11 strikeouts in 30 plate appearances.
Haseley was the eighth overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft. Quinn was a second-rounder (66th overall) in 2011. Yes, Roman Quinn is 27 years old and I’m just as shocked as you are that he’s managed to hang around the Phillies organization for this long with such little results. The Phillies hoped Kingery would win the job out of Spring Training, but Jetpax SZN has been dealing with a broken swing and was sent to the minors. The other candidate being Odubel Herrera, who would probably be starting for the Phillies in centerfield if it wasn’t for his off the field domestic violence issues.
Point being, the Phillies have devoted resources and draft capital to the centerfield position over the past decade but it simply just hasn’t worked in their favor and are essentially left with two automatic outs at the bottom of their lineup. We saw this last night, with the Phillies sending Segura, Knapp, and Quinn to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning down just one run.
Haseley entered the weekend with the seventh-worst average exit velocity on batted balls. He went 0-for-3 on Friday night and 0-for-2 last night before Girardi made the switch to bring in Roman Quinn, who also went 0-for-2. The minor league season doesn’t even begin until May 4th. The Phillies have just under a whole month before players like Herrera, Kingery, and Moniak take the field and start getting some regular at-bats. If Haseley and Quinn continue to struggle, it’s likely that the Phillies will go into their minor-league player pool sooner than expected.
What player will the Phillies bring up to help the struggling centerfield position? That remains unclear thanks to the Odubel Herrera dilemma. Herrera would be a no-brainer thanks to his past success at the major league level but as we saw at the end of Spring Training, the Phillies may not be ready to make that decision.
Up Next: Matt Moore will take the mound tonight as the Phillies hope to avoid the sweep against Drew Smyly and the Atlanta Braves.
UPDATE: JOHN SIECK IS A MORON
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY