Will Middlebrooks, who won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox and finished his professional career with the Philadelphia Phillies, thinks a big signing is coming.
The former third baseman regularly answers fans’ questions on Twitter, and on Sunday, after news broke that Nelson Cruz would be a Washington National – which is very bad for Phillies pitchers – he predicted that the signing would lead to Kyle Schwarber in Philadelphia.
2013 World Series champion Will Middlebrooks predicts Kyle Schwarber will sign with Philadelphia Phillies
Hopefully, Middlebrooks is right. A Nationals lineup with Cruz and Juan Soto is fearsome, no matter how underperforming the rest of the team is; they’re going to be a ruinous duo for many pitchers, including at least a few Phillies.
After eight games in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform in his brief 2005 debut season, Cruz spent the last 16 years of his Silver-Slugging career in the American League, so it will be interesting to see him face a lot of unfamiliar pitching. He only has 15 plate appearances against the Phillies in his career, so the sample size is too small to take seriously, however, he has a lifetime .282/.361/.553 line and .914 OPS in 201 games of inter-league play, which would be almost entirely NL pitching.
After the disappointing news that Odúbel Herrera is returning, the Phillies need to sign a big bat, Schwarber or otherwise. Aside from his trade to the Boston Red Sox last summer, the free-agent slugger has spent his entire career in the NL, so he’s adept at facing their pitchers.
Schwarber is coming off the kind of career year the Phillies’ lineup is sorely lacking (Bryce Harper excluded). He hit .266/.374/.554 (all new career-highs) with a .928 OPS, 32 home runs, 19 doubles, 76 runs scored, and 71 RBI in just 113 games between the Nationals and Red Sox.