Nick Castellanos’ message to Mickey Moniak shows how special this Phillies team is
Nick Castellanos had an important message for new Phillies teammate Mickey Moniak after heartbreaking injury
Mickey Moniak’s turnaround was one of the best stories of spring training, so it was devastating when an errant pitch fractured his wrist in the final game, forcing him to sit on the sidelines and miss his first Philadelphia Phillies‘ Opening Day.
The former first-overall pick made his debut in 2020 and played a number of games in 2021, but this was the first time he’d made the Opening Day roster. Worse yet, he’d been slated to start in centerfield, a huge honor, and a clear sign of how far he’d come in just a few weeks.
Manager Joe Girardi said he feels “terrible” and “heartbroken” for Moniak, but it was Nick Castellanos’ message to the rookie that shows how much this club values teamwork and camaraderie:
"“It’s very unfortunate, no doubt. What I told him is that, even though he’s on the IL, I think it’s it’s important for him to travel with us. He’s had such a good spring. This unfortunate accident, I wouldn’t want him to feel disconnected. So my message to him was, ‘Hey man, travel with us. Be a part of it.’”"
How can you not love this clubhouse energy?
Being on the Injured List with longer injuries can be isolating, especially for a player who has only played 29 career games with a very different Phillies roster. Castellanos is absolutely correct in saying that it’s important for Moniak to stay with the team throughout; he’ll be able to absorb knowledge from his teammates and get familiar with opposing pitching.
Moniak has been able to participate in some batting practice activities, but he won’t be able to resume throwing for a while. In the meantime, the Phillies will make Matt Vierling their everyday centerfielder and wait to see how Odúbel Herrera and Moniak progress.
But while we wait, it’s good to see this team prioritizing sticking together.