Matt Vierling making a strong case to be Phillies’ centerfielder

Matt Vierling #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Matt Vierling #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Matt Vierling is making his case to be the Phillies’ new everyday centerfielder

The Philadelphia Phillies re-signed Odúbel Herrera to platoon with Matt Vierling in center field, but there may be no need for the former at all.

Vierling, who made his MLB debut last June, has been making a strong case to be the Phillies’ new full-time CF. On Friday, he hit a 414-ft, bases-clearing double. He followed that up with an RBI triple on Saturday, in an outrageous scoring duel between the Phillies and Detroit Tigers.

Manager Joe Girardi might also want to take another look at Mickey Moniak; he said earlier this week that he did not anticipate using the former first-overall pick in center. After Vierling got on base with his triple, Moniak brought him home with a massive home run, his second in as many games.

Over 34 games in 2021, Vierling hit .324/.364/.479 with a .843 OPS. His 23 hits included three doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He only drew four walks, but he also only struck out 20 times. His six RBI so far this spring match his six total from last season.

Offensively, the Phillies’ lineup is stacked, so if Vierling wants the everyday gig in center the key is to prove himself defensively. He made eight appearances in center last year, with 10 putouts in 10 changes, and no errors. Herrera played 124 games last season, including 104 in center, where he only made two errors. However, he’ll start the season on the Injured List, as his oblique injury will sideline him 4-6 weeks.

In the meantime, Vierling will have plenty of chances to shine.