Bryce Harper sat out his fifth consecutive recreation for the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night time. That is unhealthy. The Phillies are actually 17-17 with Harper within the line up and 1-4 with out him.
After receiving a platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) remedy in his proper throwing elbow on Sunday, the Phillies have been with out the 2021 Nationwide League MVP. Subsequently, the ripple results are revealing the inherent flaw within the Phillies’ roster design.
When the Phillies broke the posh tax threshold to signal Kyle Shwarber and Nicholas Castellanos, observers have been important of the Phillies’ reasoning in signing two nook outfielders with restricted defensive potential. Earlier than the season even began, the Phillies outfield was instantly dubbed the worst defensive outfield in baseball. That was with Bryce Harper slated because the beginning proper fielder.
Now that Bryce Harper is out, a worst case situation has unfolded. Whereas it appears in the intervening time, Harper will keep away from Tommy John surgical procedure, the Phillies outfield state of affairs appears to be like extra grim than anybody imagined earlier than the 2022 season started.
Their choices with out Harper have been, Odubel Herrera in heart discipline, flanked by Nicholas Castellanos and Kyle Shwarber in every nook, with Roman Quinn blended in.
With that formation, the Phillies are pressured to play Johan Camargo at 2B or SS (Camargo has not performed SS since 2019), Bryson Stott at 2B or SS, and Jean Segura at 2B.
Tthe Phillies optimum remaining offensive line up which might characteristic each Shwarber and Castellanos within the outfield with both Johan Camargo enjoying out of place at quick or JT Realmuto because the DH or and Garrett Stubbs (160 wRC+) behind the plate or at DH. Nonetheless, that line up would have each their catcher and their backup catcher within the line up.
The opposite choices are tough as properly. They’ll attempt to get higher defensive gamers within the combine, however Roman Quinn (-21 wRC+) and Bryson Stott (5 wRC+) are sub-optimal offensive gamers. They really could also be higher off having pitchers hit for themselves if that’s the case.
With out a observe file of strong participant growth, particularly on the place participant facet, all of the Phillies had was hope that gamers like Bryson Stott or Matt Vierling would emerge as on daily basis regulars. Though Stott might have the higher MiLB numbers, there weren’t sturdy indicators that Vierling would attain his ceiling within the Majors.
The argument may be made that there’s a cheap expectation for Matt Vierling to make it to the Main League membership and be a productive participant. He was the quantity eight prospect within the Phillies’ system per Baseball America. Nonetheless, it’s straightforward to be the eighth greatest prospect in a company if you find yourself 25 years previous and in one of many worst ranked farm techniques in MLB.
Whereas prospect rankings should not good, they’re the perfect publicly accessible aggregates of organizational expertise. Most informal baseball observers solely take note of the first group they cowl or comply with, so individuals depend on these lists to get an concept of what’s going on with sure organizations.
Within the Phillies’ haste to spend their method into rivalry, the underside finish of their MLB roster and their farm system suffered. The actual catch twenty two is that they aren’t unhealthy sufficient to earn excessive draft picks, so their beginner scouting and participant growth has a a lot thinner margin of error than different organizations.
With Sam Fuld in as Basic Supervisor, he’s confronted with the problem of protecting the Main League crew aggressive, whereas rebuilding a farm system that has plummeted in high quality.
Whereas Bryce Harper’s harm ought to solely be momentary and he has been comparatively sturdy over the course of his profession, his absence reveals the mess Sam Fuld has inherited. It’s definitely attainable for the Philadelphia Phillies to compete and concurrently rebuild their farm system, however will probably be a tall job for a second 12 months Basic Supervisor.
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