The Phillies are simply running out of players to call up this summer
Only six players are on the Phillies major league disabled list, but the outlook of their 40-man roster is dreadful heading towards the All-Star break.
Injuries to J.P. Crawford, Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn, and Pedro Florimon have left the Phillies bench short, and there’s no help coming anytime soon for the major league club. Currently deploying Andrew Knapp, Jesmuel Valentin, Mitch Walding, and Aaron Altherr off the bench Philadelphia has one of the worst backup crews in baseball.
Walding made history by becoming the first player in the 143 years of Major League Baseball to strikeout in his first seven major league plate appearances. His presence on the roster is moot, but there’s only a handful of options for general manager Matt Klentak.
Unfortunately, they have called up every hitter on their 40-man roster and have little wiggle room to add another bat.
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Once Crawford went down with a broken hand, the Phillies realistically had no choice but to bring back Walding. Their only other option was to designate someone for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster, but for whom?
Just four hitters in Triple-A Lehigh Valley are hitting at least .250, all of whom are either career-minor leaguers or major league blowouts: Adron Chambers, Joey Meneses, Dean Anna, and Walding. Anna and Chambers are 31-years-old hitting a combined .173 in 97 major league games.
Meneses has played 645 minor league games and is a career .275 hitter in eight seasons. Signed as a minor league free agent Meneses is hitting .294 but is larely limited to first base. He’s played 58% of his minor league innings at first and the rest came in the corner outfield.
Former Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe signed a minor league deal a month into the season, but he’s hitting .219 this year. Plouffe would at least bring another veteran voice to the clubhouse despite his lagging bat.
There’s not one hitter in Lehigh Valley worth calling up, which shines a light on how weak the upper levels of the farm system are, at least from an offensive standpoint.
For an organization that values development, there’s little chance the club picks a bat in Double-A Reading to make the jump. First baseman Austin Listi is crushing opponents in both Clearwater and Reading this year, hitting .345, but don’t expect him to make the leap.
Philadelphia’s 40-man roster is primarily made up of pitching with 24 arms filling out the roster. Because of the depth added to the pitching staff the organization must protect prospects such as Ranger Suarez and Franklyn Kilome from the Rule 5 Draft.
Klentak will have even more decisions to make this offseason regarding the Rule 5 Draft and which prospects to protect. Top prospects Adonis Medina, Enyel De Los Santos, Thomas Eshelman, McKenzie Mills, and Jose Gomez are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this December and must be added to the 40-man roster.
Unless a utility player hits the waiver wire that intrigues Klentak and Gabe Kapler, the Phillies are stuck with this offense and backups until the trade deadline or someone recovers from injury.