There could not have been a more inopportune time for former Philadelphia Phillies first-round pick Adam Haseley to go down with an injury.
On Friday, manager Joe Girardi announced that the 24-year-old will be sidelined for four weeks after being diagnosed with a moderate groin strain. Not only will Haseley miss the remainder of spring training down in Florida, but also the start of the regular season — set to get underway home on April 1 opposite the Atlanta Braves.
Haseley suffered the groin injury in Thursday’s rout of the New York Yankees while running on a full count pitch on the basepaths. The two-year veteran battled through a similar injury during his rookie season and missed approximately five weeks.
The Phillies CF competition grows more complex after the Adam Haseley injury.
Haseley was among those in consideration for the starting center field job — competing with Scott Kingery, Roman Quinn, and mini-camp invitee Odubel Herrera. Through three games and seven at-bats, he slugged a single and home run, and walked as many times as he struck out (2) while slashing .286/.444/.714.
Now, the competition dwindles to just Kingery, Quinn, and Herrera. The injury is surely untimely for Haseley, who sought his first regular, non-platoon playing time in the big-leagues. With Kingery long being the team’s go-to super utility player, and Quinn himself being injury prone, the Phillies might just have no choice other than to give Herrera a second chance — unless non-roster invitees Travis Jankowski or Matt Joyce step up in a big way through the remaining weeks of Grapefruit League action.
Will Odubel Herrera get a second chance with the Phillies?
Girardi said during Thursday’s game that Herrera has “taken the necessary steps” ever since his suspension due to a domestic violence incident. “There are situations that happen in your life that help you form your opinions about certain things. Some people may never forgive Odubel,” the manager said. “Some people might take longer than others. Some people are forgiving and you have to prove yourself again and earn our trust back.”
Girardi added that Herrera has to “concentrate on being a better person every day” and earn the trust of his teammates, fans, and the organization back. Herrera has slugged two singles and a home run through six at-bats so far this spring, along with starting an eye-catching relay play while in right field.
Haseley probably was the frontrunner for the starting job, had he not become injured. Now, it is anyone’s guess who public address announcer Dan Baker will announce as the starter for the position at Citizens Bank Park come Opening Day.