The Phillies continue to upgrade their bench, and they’ve done it in a big way
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has done a masterful job at restocking the Phillies bench this summer. After adding Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilson Ramos at the July 31 trade deadline, he added power-hitting first baseman Justin Bour from the Marlins.
It’s not hard to see exactly what Bour can be for this team, and it’s certainly something that crept into Phillies fans minds after hearing the deal.
Bour is the new Matt Stairs.
Philadelphia added Stairs in August 2008 to boost their bench with a veteran power bat for the playoffs. A career designated hitter, Stairs hit 252 home runs before coming to Philadelphia. His postseason home run in Los Angeles has gone down in Philadelphia lore as one of the greatest home runs in team history.
Bour hit a career-high 25 home runs last year for Miami, and is on pace to pass that with 19 this season. His batting average has dipped from .289 last year to .227, a significant drop for any player. It’s highly likely the Phillies claimed Bour just to block him from a team like the Cubs or Yankees, and later took him on for a minor league pitcher.
Bour is locked into team control through the 2020 season, as is Carlos Santana.
Philadelphia can now throw out a bench in the postseason with Bour, Ramos/Alfaro, and Roman Quinn, then mix in either Cabrera, Scott Kingery, or J.P. Crawford, depending on who plays shortstop.
There’s also a possibility the Phillies platoon Bour with Santana at first base to add more pop to the lineup. Bour is hitting .32 points better than Santana against righties, and 17 of his 19 home runs have come against righties.
Having a switch-hitting, patient power bat like Santana come off the bench late in games is invaluable for Gabe Kapler.
Overall this could be one of the best trades Kapler has made this year given Bour’s production and controllability.