Should the Phillies give Moniak, Maton, Sánchez more playing time?
Mickey Moniak, Nick Maton, and Cristopher Sánchez appeared on the Philadelphia Phillies during the recent nine-game win streak; should they re-join the team?
The Philadelphia Phillies had a great start to June, with a nine-game win streak between June 1 and 11, including series sweeps over the Los Angeles Angels and the Milwaukee Brewers.
While much of the attention was placed on the change in clubhouse culture, with interim manager Rob Thomson replacing Joe Girardi on June 3, the win streak also saw some different names on the roster during that span – Mickey Moniak, Nick Maton, and Cristopher Sánchez.
The three Phillies were since sent back to the minors or placed on the injured list and the team has lost four of its last seven games. With some roster spots up in the air, should the Phillies give these three players more time with the big-league club?
Philadelphia Phillies OF Mickey Moniak
Outfielder Mickey Moniak, the Phillies’ first overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, made his first major league appearance of the 2022 season on the eve of the team’s win streak. He went 0-for-6 in two games against the San Francisco Giants to end the month of May.
Moniak got a bit better at the same time as the team, appearing in two games against the Angels and all three contests against the Brewers, going 3-for-11 (.273 BA), with an RBI and three walks.
While Moniak has an unimpressive .160/.250/.160 slash line in nine games with the Phillies, with no extra-base hits, he appeared to be finding at least some sort of rhythm, producing a hit in four of his last six games, with a plate appearance, before being optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on June 13.
The reason for his late-season debut was a hairline fracture in his right wrist, which he sustained during the delayed spring training. He had been awarded an opening day roster spot prior to the injury, so he would’ve started the season on the Phillies.
Moniak instead started on a rehab assignment with Single-A Clearwater, going 4-for-10, with a double, a triple, and two RBI in three games. He then went 9-for-23 (.391 BA), with three extra-base hits (including one home run) and six RBI in five games for Double-A Reading.
He looked stellar during rehab, so it was a good call to bring him up to the majors. However, with his early struggles, it was also good to see him get some time at Triple-A to improve his game.
Moniak slashed .313/.353/.604, with three HR and four RBI, in 11 games for Lehigh Valley, through Saturday’s game.
Defensively, Moniak has looked great, with a perfect fielding percentage so far this season, across all levels, after committing 10 errors in the minor leagues in four seasons between 2017 and 2021.
Odúbel Herrera, Matt Vierling, and Roman Quinn have been the Phillies’ primary center field options so far this year. They have a combined eight HR and 27 RBI in 109 games, with Vierling owning the best batting average of .239.
Quinn was designated for assignment at the start of June and elected free agency, giving the team one less option in the outfield.
While Herrera has been trending in the wrong direction offensively, Vierling has been trending upwards, batting .311, with three HR, in 15 games since being called up on June 7.
Despite Vierling being the hot hand, Moniak has shown, with improved offense and defense in the minors, that he deserves at least a chance to challenge for some major league playing time at center field.
With Bryce Harper suffering a fractured left thumb, after being hit by a pitch in Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres, Moniak was recalled on Sunday. He did not appear in Sunday’s game but, despite the unfortunate circumstances, this is a good time to give him opportunities.