Phillies’ Joe Girardi: Alec Bohm can contribute this season

Alec Bohm #80 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Alec Bohm #80 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Phillies manager Joe Girardi hinted a likely 2020 debut for Alec Bohm

It is hard to believe, but the 2020 Philadelphia Phillies season is almost (finally) here. Even the 2021 schedule is out. Next week, there will be three exhibition games. Things are starting to ramp up in more ways than one.

For new manager Joe Girardi, he will have to start thinking about which players among the nearly 60 in their player pool will make up the 30-man Opening Day roster ahead of July 24’s home contest against the Miami Marlins.

Could the Phillies’ top prospect, third baseman Alec Bohm, be among them? Girardi did not rule it out when talking to reporters on Thursday, following the team’s second intra-squad scrimmage; but, the skipper did seem to indicate fans could see the 23-year-old in game action at some point this year.

“I think we look at him as a guy with the possibility to contribute this year,” Girardi said. “He continues to improve in all facets of the game.”

The wording Girardi used seemed to play down on Bohm being on the team’s Opening Day roster. Prospects on the brink of their debut, like Bohm and top Phillies pitching prospect Spencer Howard, are more than likely to have their service time manipulated, therefore giving the team another year of control.

It is believed seven games is the cutoff point. For the Phillies, seven games in the 2020 season would mean Bohm would miss the entire opening home series against the Marlins, as well as the four-game home-and-home against the New York Yankees (two in Philadelphia, two in the Bronx).

Regardless, Girardi is pleased at Bohm’s progress; the Omaha, Nebraska native doubled in yesterday’s scrimmage, and even laced a single going the other way in Thursday’s intra-squad matchup. As scribes have joked, the Phillies won both games; they also lost both.

Bohm has yet to play above the Double-A level. Last year, upon his promotion to Double-A, Bohm slashed .269/.344/.500 across 63 games, while slugging 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 42 RBI.

How much Bohm is used in next week’s exhibition games could indicate whether the Phillies are willing to have him debut come Opening Day on July 24. The added designated hitter spot in the lineup will be sure to give him some at-bats whenever he does likely debut in 2020.