Phillies: Shocking Scott Kingery roster move a win-win

Scott Kingery #4 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Scott Kingery #4 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia Phillies are making the final tweaks to their 26-man roster as spring training comes to an end and Opening Day this coming Thursday fast approaches.

Their latest slew of moves came ahead of their Sunday matinee opposite the New York Yankees in Clearwater, which included them optioning catcher Rafael Marchan and southpaw reliever JoJo Romero to minor-league camp. Also, for their non-roster invitees, the team reassigned catcher Rodolfo Duran and outfielder Travis Jankowski to minor-league camp and released catcher Christian Bethancourt.

Phillies utility player Scott Kingery will begin the 2021 season in the minors.

Romero not making the Opening Day roster is surprising in itself but an even more shocking sixth transaction was made regarding the team’s once highly touted prospect, Scott Kingery. The utility player was also optioned to minor-league camp and will start the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Kingery hit just .159 with a .229 on-base percentage this spring, collecting only seven hits in 44 at-bats while striking out 19 times and walking just four times.

Ultimately, this is a win-win for both the Phillies and Kingery. The team will now add Ronald Torreyes into the season-opening roster mix. Torreyes also provides some versatility — and frankly, at this point in spring, has hit better than Kingery. Entering Sunday, Torreyes has collected eight singles, two doubles, three RBI, two walks, and just six strikeouts across 42 spring training at-bats.

Kingery, meanwhile, will get regular at-bats down at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, all the while likely fielding his more natural positions at shortstop or second base. At the big-league level, Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura are regulars at the respective spots. There simply would not be enough playing time for Kingery there, let alone at center field.

Hopefully, Kingery can continue to bounce back and return to the once-flashy prospect he was when the team signed him to a multi-year deal before even collecting his first big-league plate appearance.

The Phillies still have a few more roster decisions to make, but the picture is becoming clearer and clearer as the final hours of Grapefruit League action passes by.

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