The Phillies should demote Bryson Stott to protect him from their destruction
Barely two weeks into the 2022 season, and it looks like the Philadelphia Phillies have already broken Bryson Stott.
Who could’ve guessed that throwing him all over the infield and not giving him consistent playing time wouldn’t go well?
The answer is almost everyone except, you guessed it, the Phillies, who seem intent not to learn from the Scott Kingery debacle. Earlier this month manager Joe Girardi said he planned on using Stott wherever he was needed, clearly prioritizing the team over the player.
That mentality would be well and good if this was someone like Miguel Cabrera, a seasoned veteran who said on Wednesday night that he doesn’t care about being one hit away from the exclusive 3,000 Club when his team just lost. But Stott is a rookie who isn’t even being given the chance to find himself as a player, let alone figure out how he can help his team.
Stott also isn’t a utilityman; he’s a shortstop who is suddenly playing third base because Alec Bohm is finally hitting, but still can’t field to save his life. After hitting .419 with a 1.094 OPS in 13 spring training games, Stott is only managing .133 with a .328 OPS over his first nine big-league games. It’s like he and Bohm swapped bodies a la Freaky Friday, as the latter went from hitting .206 with a .594 OPS in 13 spring games, to .476 with a 1.197 OPS in 11 regular-season games.
The Phillies have a long and painful history of failing to develop promising talent. For any number of reasons (and maybe they’re just plain cursed), several top prospects have flamed out once they reach the top, including Kingery and Spencer Howard. It’s an issue they’ve been attempting to remedy by overhauling player development over the past year, but at the human level, where Stott is concerned, there still seems to be a disconnect on how to actually help him go from minor to major. They’re so busy trying to win games that they’re losing his spark.
Stott did exactly what Dave Dombrowski told him to do last fall. He showed up to spring training and earned a spot on the big-league roster; the only problem is that the Phillies didn’t clear one for him. They kept Didi Gregorius and added Johan Camargo, and when Bohm and Stott battled it out for a roster spot in spring training, the Phillies decided to go the participation trophy route and put them both on the list. Now, they’re trying to have everyone take turns, have their cake and eat it too, and as Hannah Montana famously sang, have the best of both worlds.
But in doing so, they’re messing up the formative period in Stott’s rookie development. He’d be better off in Triple-A, getting consistent time at shortstop, and repairing his hitting, which was stellar at every professional level until he got to the big leagues. At the bare minimum, it can’t keep going like this.
Stott deserves to be here, but the Phillies don’t deserve to have him if they’re just going to ruin him.