Adam Haseley trade frees up Opening Day roster spot for Mickey Moniak

Adam Haseley #40 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Adam Haseley #40 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Phillies trade outfielder Adam Haseley for White Sox pitching prospect

It was both surprising and not to see that the Philadelphia Phillies traded Adam Haseley on Tuesday morning.

The outfielder only played nine games in 2021 before stepping away for personal reasons in April. When Haseley returned in July, the Phillies optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and he didn’t see big-league action again.

In Haseley’s absence, his spot on the team filled up. Matt Vierling made his MLB debut in June and proved to be a versatile addition. Over the last few weeks, the Phillies signed two slugging outfielders in Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos and brought back Odúbel Herrera. Between the new guys and Vierling and Mickey Moniak, there wasn’t any room for Haseley.

Will Mickey Moniak make the Phillies Opening Day roster?

With Haseley traded and Herrera sidelined 4-6 weeks with an oblique injury, all signs point to Moniak being the fourth outfielder on the Opening Day roster.

By trading Haseley, who had been their first-round pick in 2017, the Phillies essentially chose Moniak, their first-round pick in 2016, over him. Of course, Haseley’s career numbers with the Phillies are superior to Moniak’s, so finding a trade partner for the former was certainly easier. Haseley’s minor league options also made him an attractive addition, as the Sox can essentially put him anywhere.

But while Haseley struggled this spring, Moniak is exploding at the plate, his work with new hitting coach Kevin Long paying off. Over his first eight spring training games, Moniak has five hits: two doubles and three homers, one in each of his three games over the weekend. Pretty impressive for a kid who only hit one home run in the first 29 games of his big-league career. He’s also scored four runs, driven in five more, and only struck out five times in 19 plate appearances.

The accelerated timetable of a shortened spring training means things have changed quickly in Phillies camp. Manager Joe Girardi went from saying that Vierling and Herrera would platoon in center to having Vierling and Haseley and saying Moniak likely wouldn’t get time.

Now, barely a week away from Opening Day, Moniak has a legitimate chance.