Philadelphia Phillies IF Nick Maton
Infielder Nick Maton was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start the season.
The shortstop, second baseman, and third baseman didn’t do much to warrant a call-up in the month of April. He recorded four HR and 13 RBI in 19 games, but that came with a .177/.300/.427 slash line. He also hit five doubles and was walked 10 times.
Maton turned things around in the month of May, slashing .299/.411/.494, with 10 doubles, one HR, and 17 RBI in 22 games. He was walked 15 times and recorded his first stolen base of the season.
That turnaround earned him an opportunity on the Phillies when Jean Segura was placed on the injured list. Maton was called up to start at second base in the June 1 game against the Giants, which would ultimately become the start of the team’s win streak and the end of Girardi’s tenure as manager.
Maton had an instant impact, going 2-for-4 in the game, with an RBI bunt single and a two-run HR. He started the next game, against the Angels, going 1-for-2, with an RBI triple and a walk.
Unfortunately, the strong start to his major league season was met with injury, as he sat out the next game before being placed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder sprain. The injury has kept him out longer than the minimum stay, with Rotowire listing his estimated return date as June 29.
With Segura on the 60-day injured list with a finger injury, rookie Bryson Stott has been the primary option at second base. He has a .164/.223/.274 slash line, with four HR and 20 RBI, in 46 games.
While Stott has not done well offensively, it’s unrealistic to believe that the Phillies won’t continue to give him opportunities as one of their top prospects entering the season.
Still, the month of May that Maton had and his two games with the Phillies were really impressive, so he should also be given playing time on the major league squad, regardless of how he does in a potential rehab assignment.
Philadelphia Phillies LHP Cristopher Sánchez
Left-handed pitcher Cristopher Sánchez started his 2022 season on the Phillies roster, making four relief appearances and one start between April 12 and May 8.
Sánchez struggled in all five games, giving up at least one run in each outing. He gave up a combined eight runs, off of 10 hits and six walks, in 12 1/3 innings.
Given his rough start, it was not surprising to see the Phillies option him to Triple-A at the beginning of May, when MLB rosters were reduced from 28 to 26 positions. He served as the 27th man when making his lone start a week later, which came in the second game of a doubleheader.
Sánchez made a relief appearance with Lehigh Valley, surrendering two runs in two innings, before looking much improved when he was moved to the starting rotation. He gave up one run in eight innings, between a pair of starts, while striking out nine.
Sánchez was recalled on June 1, making three relief appearances during the Phillies’ win streak. He pitched a perfect inning against the Giants and a perfect inning and a third against the Angels, with two strikeouts.
He then gave up two hits, while striking out a batter, in a scoreless inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the final game of the win streak. Despite the strong outings, he was optioned to Triple-A to open a spot for José Alvarado, who was sent to the minors following a 7.62 ERA in his first 17 games.
Sánchez has made three minor-league starts since the roster move, giving up one run in seven innings, while striking out eight. He did not walk a single batter.
The Phillies bullpen has continued to be an area of concern, with a 4.05 ERA and 1.367 WHIP so far this season.
Jeurys Familia has a 5.55 ERA in 27 games, while Nick Nelson has a 4.66 ERA in 19 games. Familia gave up seven runs in his last three outings, while Nelson recently gave up seven runs across three outings, though he did pitch 3 1/3 scoreless innings in Sunday’s game.
Surely the Phillies can find a reliever worth moving from the roster to give Sánchez an opportunity. The team placed Connor Brogdon on the COVID-related injured list on Friday, calling up Mark Appel to presumably make his major league debut after a long journey in the minors.
Even though relievers like Alvarado and Corey Knebel have looked better recently, with Nelson looking better in his most recent appearance, it’s still the Phillies bullpen. Given Sánchez’s recent track record, he should be given an immediate chance on the big-league squad.