Help in Lehigh Valley? Looking at 3 players that can provide an offensive boost for the Phillies in September
Even while winning four consecutive games, the Philadelphia Phillies lineup over the past week is hardly a boost of confidence. Rhys Hoskins is done for the season, JT Realmuto is battling shoulder and ankle injuries, and Didi Gregorius is out on paternity leave. Even with those uphill battles to climb, the Phillies have managed to score seven runs in each of their last five games.
Bryce Harper continues to carry the Phillies, who are now just 3.5 games back of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves and 3 games back of the second and final NL Wild Card spot. Harper continued his MVP play last night in the Phillies 7-4 win against the Nationals. He has absolutely dominated his former team this year, batting .415 (22-for-53) with seven home runs, 12 RBI, and an astounding 1.443 OPS. The best part about it is, that Bryce Harper has been doing that to pretty much any team that the Phillies have faced over the last month and a half. Since July 17th, Harper is batting .338 with 16 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, and 27 RBIs, and a 1.205 OPS. Those are his numbers over a stretch of 41 games.
Harper of course, cannot continue to do it alone. That raises the obvious question for the Phillies: Who can be recalled from Lehigh Valley to help this offense stay hot over the final month of the season?
Well, the number one player should be Alec Bohm. In six games since being optioned to Triple A, Bohm is batting .318 with two doubles and four RBIs with a .873 OPS. Bohm struggled in the field all season, and ultimately was inconsistent from the plate and downright frustrating at times when trying to hit a fastball. Even with that, in 30 games before being optioned, Bohm was batting .277 with two home runs and 10 RBI. The Phillies however, don’t seem to think Bohm is ready to rejoin them at the major league level. Dave Dombrowski recently spoke about Bohm and insisted that Bohm needs to continue to work on his swing and driving the ball. He added, that Bohm’s “glove is not keeping him from playing here in our mind.”
Ronald Torreyes has been playing third base for the Phillies in Bohm’s absence, with Freddy Galvis helping out as well. Last night, Torreyes roped a three run triple to extend the Phillies lead, which was a great sign given the fact that he has struggled overall. Torreyes is batting .231 with two home runs and 11 RBI in his last 30 games with the Phillies.
The next obvious option would be Mickey Moniak. He is slashing .251/.304/.400 with a .704 OPS in Lehigh Valley and has 12 home runs and 59 RBI on the season. Moniak had an incredible month of July in the minor leagues. He had an 11-game hitting streak and had hits in 17 of his last 19 games in July. Moniak’s 1.039 OPS included 15 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs. Three weeks ago over 33 games, Moniak had 21 extra base hits and 29 RBIs.
Travis Jankowski left yesterday’s game for unknown reasons. If he is hurt, the Phillies should have Moniak on the next bus to D.C. as his replacement. The former number one overall draft pick in 2016 needs to step up and help push the Phillies to the playoffs. It certainly can’t hurt to have him on the roster. Recent call up Jorge Bonifacio has not impressed in the slightest and definitely isn’t a part of the Phillies future plans, so why even bother?
Nick Maton was recalled over the weekend as Didi Gregorius headed out on paternity leave. Maton has been up and down with the team this year, but with the recent injuries and COVID issues, he could be sticking around for the time being. Maton has been crushing the baseball as of late, hitting .429/556/.857, with three hits and three RBIs in his last seven games with the Iron Pigs.
Another option to consider would be Darick Hall at first base. Hall’s average is nothing to write home about. He’s only batting .226 on the season in Lehigh Valley, but he has a .739 OPS and definitely would bring some power to the Phillies lineup that has struggled to remain consistent all season long. Hall has 13 home runs and 50 RBI with the IronPigs in 2021. Brad Miller continues to hit home runs but is far from consistent and would be better utilized off the bench. Bringing up Hall is probably not a likely scenario, but to continue down the line of calling up young, organizational players to help the Phillies over the final month of the season, he certainly needs to be considered.
The Phillies will need to continue to provide plenty of run support. Tonight, Matt Moore (2-4, 6.12 ERA) will be on the mound facing Patrick Corbin (7-13, 6.09 ERA) as the Phillies go for five straight wins heading into the final month of the season.