With less than 80 days until Opening Day, the Phillies are reportedly exploring options to add a “right-handed complement” to Adam Haseley in center field.
The Philadelphia Phillies appear to not be satisfied with just Adam Haseley, Roman Quinn, and Odubel Herrera as their center field options entering the 2020 season.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the organization continue to look for a “right-handed complement” to the left-handed-hitting Haseley at the position. Morosi adds that “an addition from outside the organization is possible, due to 26-man roster limit and fact that Odubel Herrera does not enter camp with a guaranteed roster spot.
Last month, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told reporters that he expects Haseley will become the team’s everyday center fielder in 2020, saying, “With the way that our roster is unfolding, and we have the center-field spot and we have a young player who we really like, it makes sense for us to let him get the reps out there.”
Utility player Scott Kingery is another option for center field, but that would only be possible if the team acquires a third baseman. Currently on their depth chart, Kingery is listed as the Phillies’ starter at the hot corner, with Jean Segura as the backup. Segura is expected to be the team’s everyday second baseman and Didi Gregorius getting the most reps at short.
MLBTradeRumors.com lists the following 16 players as current free-agent center fielders, as of January 8, 2020: Peter Bourjos (33), Rajai Davis (39), Jarrod Dyson (35), Jacoby Ellsbury (36), Carlos Gomez (34), Billy Hamilton (29), Guillermo Heredia (29), Gorkys Hernandez (32), Jon Jay (35), Juan Lagares (31), Leonys Martin (32), Cameron Maybin (33), Kevin Pillar (31), Cesar Puello (29), JT Riddle (28), and Charlie Tilson (27). Of those, the following 10 bat right-handed: Bourjos, Davis, Gomez, Hamilton (switch), Heredia, Hernandez, Lagares, Maybin, Pillar, and Puello.
Haseley, 23, slashed .266/.324/.396 as a rookie during the 2019 season. In 67 games and 242 plate appearances, he collected 14 doubles, five home runs, 26 RBI, four stolen bases, 14 walks and 60 strikeouts, and fielded all three outfield positions, committing only one error on 131 combined chances.
The Phillies appear to not be confident in the switch-hitting Quinn, nor want to guarantee a role to the left-handed-hitting Herrera, who is coming off of a 80-plus-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.
Just who the Phillies might add to complement Haseley remains to be seen.