The Center of Attention
The Philadelphia Phillies just finished their second homestand of the season 3-3. Philadelphia took two of three from Saint Louis, and the series finale against San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon. The last couple weeks Philadelphia’s offense has cooled down from their explosive start. They are now tied with the New York Mets for 1st in the NL East. A key contributor to their offensive woes is their inconsistent play from the center field position. Let’s dive into this issue.
In the beginning of Spring Training, Philadelphia’s manager, Joe Girardi, said that the center field position will be up for grabs going into the 2021 season. The players competing for the position were Roman Quinn, Adam Haseley, and Scott Kingery. Kingery eventually fell out of the race for center field after batting .159 with 19 strikeouts in 44 at bats in Spring Training and was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
We are now three weeks into the season, and neither Quinn nor Haseley have produced enough to be named the Phillies’ starting center fielder. Roman Quinn’s speed has always been a factor since he made it to the show, but he has only recorded 1 hit in 25 at bats this season. Haseley has 4 hits in 21 at-bats and left the team last Wednesday for personal reasons. Philadelphia has since called up former 1st overall pick Mickey Moniak. Moniak made his season debut last Friday and has struck out in 53% (8/15) of his at bats. Girardi has expressed his feelings on the inconsistent play of his center fielders, saying “I know they’re all capable of hitting at a much higher clip. They’re just not doing it for whatever reason. But we need someone to be somewhat productive out there.”
Yesterday, The Phillies dropped the first game of their roadtrip in Colorado after leading 4-2 going into the bottom of 7th. Colorado wrapped up their 3-run comeback victory with a walk off homer in the 9th by Raimel Tapia. Moniak went 0-2 with 2 strikeouts and was replaced by Roman Quinn in the 6th inning. Quinn made an immediate impact as he doubled in his first at-bat of the game and finished 1-2.
Philadelphia’s center fielders have performed horribly to start this season, batting a combined .118 (8/68) with 26 strikeouts. If Philadelphia doesn’t figure it out soon, expect some call ups soon or possibly a trade. Next in line is Odubel Herrera, who hasn’t played in the major leagues since May 26, 2019. As the road trip continues I will be eager to see who will be out in center for the Phils.