The Phillies stay occupied with including a right-handed hitter with the commerce deadline approaching, writes Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Ideally, that acquisition can be a nook outfielder, although that’s contingent on Bryce Harper.
The Phils plugged Harper in at first base for tonight’s sport in Cleveland. It’s the two-time MVP’s first defensive motion of the season. He had been restricted to 62 video games as a chosen hitter after final November’s Tommy John surgical procedure.
Hitting places far much less stress on the UCL in Harper’s proper elbow than throwing does. The Phils gave him two months of bat-only work in consequence. They’re nonetheless not able to plug him again into proper area and it’s unclear if he’ll be capable to man the outfield grass at any level in 2023.
Even when he can’t play proper area, demonstrating a capability to persistently play first base over the following week and a half can be a significant enhance for the entrance workplace. With Harper at DH, the Phils have had to make use of Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber as their nook outfield pairing. Even with a superb defensive middle area mixture of Brandon Marsh and Johan Rojas (or Cristian Pache when wholesome), that’s a suboptimal defensive alignment.
Schwarber’s -18 Defensive Runs Saved ranks final amongst all main league outfielders. The Phils will surely want to maintain him at DH, the place he’s within the lineup tonight.
Assuming they’re comfy with Harper’s type over the approaching days, Philadelphia might search for right-handed hitting outfield assist. Tommy Pham and Mark Canha have been the topic of commerce chatter with the Mets scuffling. There might be some problems in pulling off an intra-division swap, although the Mets are solely in place to think about transferring Pham and Canha as a result of they’re lengthy pictures to make the playoffs in 2023 regardless.
Randal Grichuk might transfer as an impending free agent on a final place Colorado staff; as MLBTR’s Steve Adams lately explored, Grichuk is having a good season in opposition to left-handed pitching and can be a significantly better defender than Schwarber. The Mariners’ middling 12 months would possibly make them contemplate affords on Teoscar Hernández, although he’s one other bat-first participant with restricted defensive utility. Oakland’s Ramón Laureano continues to be hitting for some energy in opposition to lefties amidst a dismal season total; he has been on the injured listing for a month however appears prone to be again earlier than the August 1 deadline since he’s on a rehab stint.
Philadelphia actually isn’t with out right-handed hitters who can do harm. Trea Turner, J.T. Realmuto, Castellanos and Alec Bohm all hit from that facet of the plate. However, the Phils have been a barely below-average lineup in opposition to lefty pitching. Getting into play Friday, they raked sixteenth with a .253 common in opposition to southpaws. They’re twenty fifth with a .306 on-base proportion and ninth in slugging at .434. That total offensive output, as measured by wRC+, ranks 18th.