Phillies: Mickey Moniak gets boost amid Kyle Garlick news

Mickey Moniak #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mickey Moniak #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Just weeks remain until Philadelphia Phillies spring training is scheduled to get underway in Clearwater, Florida. As their final roster preparations continue, the Phillies made their recent free-agent signing of right-handed reliever Archie Bradley official on Monday.

In a corresponding move, the team designated outfielder Kyle Garlick for assignment.

The chances that outfielder Mickey Moniak will make the 2021 Phillies Opening Day roster improved on Monday.

As Paul Boye notes, this roster move bodes nothing but good news for 2016 first overall pick, Mickey Moniak. Garlick’s removal from the 40-man roster leaves them only five Major League-ready outfielders — Bryce Harper, Adam Haseley, Andrew McCutchen, Moniak, and Roman Quinn. The 22-year-old Simon Muzziotti is also on the 40-man roster, but he has never played higher than the High-A level in the Phillies system. He was recently added to be protected from December’s Rule 5 Draft.

Barring a free-agent or trade acquisition, perhaps Jackie Bradley Jr. or Andrew Benintendi as rumored, Moniak now has a strong case to make the Phillies Opening Day roster following Garlick being designated for assignment.

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In a recent interview with MLB Network, Moniak, 22, described his challenges with being selected first overall, saying it was a “blessing in disguise.” Debuting in 2020, Moniak looks back fondly on his rookie season; he shared his excitement to get his foot in the door and “hopefully stay there for a while.” Moniak collected three singles across 14 plate appearances, while walking four times and striking out six.

Mickey Moniak wants to work on two things this spring training.

With spring training just weeks away, the top things Moniak said he wants to work on plate discipline and putting together good at-bats. “Just going in there, putting together a good spring, and showing what I can do [is my goal],” he said. “After that, it is out of my control.”

Garlick, who will turn 29 later this month, was acquired from the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers last February for minor-league left-hander Tyler Gilbert. The California native outfielder showed signs of some power in his rookie season with the Dodgers in 2019, slashing .250/.321/.521 with four doubles, three home runs, and six RBI across 30 games and 53 plate appearances.

Donning red pinstripes in 2020, however, Garlick struggled to produce similar numbers — slashing only .136/.174/.182 with a double and three RBI spanning 23 plate appearances.

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