Did Marlins Trade for Joe Panik Just to Own Phillies?

Joe Panik #12 of the Miami Marlins (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joe Panik #12 of the Miami Marlins (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Phillies might have reason to panic, now that Joe Panik is with the Marlins.

Joe Panik, one of the newest members of the Miami Marlins, wasted no time to find success against Philadelphia Phillies pitching in the second of a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.

Facing Phillies starter Aaron Nola in the bottom of the second inning, Panik worked a nine-pitch at-bat (his first as a Marlin) that resulted in a 380-foot home run to right field.

Three innings later, he produced the eventual game-winning run for the Marlins with an RBI-single to right-centerfield.

Just a day prior, the Marlins acquired the infielder — along with right-handed pitcher Andrew McInvale — from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for former Phillies outfielder Corey Dickerson, as well as right-handed pitcher Adam Cimber and cash considerations.

Among the reasons the Marlins wanted to acquire the versatile infielder surely was his career success against Phillies pitching. Entering Wednesday’s game, Panik slashed a lifetime .328/.414/.440 against them — collecting eight doubles, a triple, home run, and 10 RBI. Impressively, he garnered 14 walks while striking out just four times spanning his 34 games against them.

Panik had just two home runs this season, and 41 in his career, before his home run against Nola. The eight-year veteran played his first five-plus seasons as a member of the San Francisco Giants from 2014-19. As a rookie, Panik finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year Award race and ultimately helped the Giants to a World Series championship opposite the Kansas City Royals — collecting two doubles, one triple, and three RBI across the seven-game series.

The following season, Panik earned the first and only All-Star nod to date in his career, slashing an impressive .312/.378/.455 with 27 doubles, eight home runs, 37 RBI, 38 walks, and just 42 strikeouts across 100 games. In 2016, the Yonkers, New York, native was named a Gold Glove Award recipient — committing only five errors across 1,081 innings and 601 chances at the second base position.

Since his time spent with the Giants, the now-30-year-old has played for the New York Mets (2019) and Toronto Blue Jays (2020-21). So far, his Marlins tenure is off to a good start.

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