Phillies: Scott Kingery set to return on Saturday vs. Mets

Phillies utility player Scott Kingery returns to the lineup

Coming off of a thrilling, walk-off win against their division-rival New York Mets — in which star outfielder Bryce Harper notched his 11th career walk-off hit (12th overall) — the Philadelphia Phillies look to win the series Saturday evening at Citizens Bank Park.

Manager Joe Girardi‘s squad will feature a partially new lineup in the process.

Scott Kingery, who has not started since last Tuesday’s extra-innings defeat to the Baltimore Orioles, will start in the game two of the three-game set. The three-year veteran will bat ninth and play center field for the first time of the 2020 season; he is slashing just .100/.163/.100 through 11 games.

Kingery was all but put back into a utility role after the club called up top prospect Alec Bohm earlier this week to bolster their starting lineup and offense; doing so shifted Jean Segura back to Kingery’s prior starting position of second base.

Calling up Bohm seems to have worked to some degree so far; the Nebraska native has posted a .250 batting average with a double and RBI single so far through eight plate appearance, striking out only twice.

The former first-round pick is still in search for his first career home run; he is in the lineup for the third consecutive night and will once again play at the hot corner, batting eighth. Phil Gosselin will bat one spot higher as team’s designated hitter.

Phillies right-handed ace Aaron Nola is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season. Entering Saturday’s game against the Mets, Nola has a 2.79 earned run average and a 1-1 record so far to start this year. In 19 1/3 innings pitched, he has struck out 29 of his 68 batters faced.

It will be interesting to see what new manager Joe Girardi does with Kingery in the foreseeable future; the skipper does not believe anything is bothering the utility player health-wise, following him testing positive and recovering from COVID-19.

“We’re just trying to get him back on track,” Girardi said of Kingery.