Phillies need outfield help once again after Guardians re-claim Óscar Mercado
Outfielder Óscar Mercado re-claimed by Cleveland Guardians after brief stint with Philadelphia Phillies
After a brief stint with the Philadelphia Phillies, Óscar Mercado is back in Cleveland.
On Sunday, the club announced that the Guardians claimed him off waivers.
Mercado’s tenure with the Phillies lasted less than a week. After being designated for assignment by the Guardians on June 21, the Phillies claimed him off waivers on June 27. Ultimately, he played exactly one game in a Phillies uniform, going 0-for-1 with a strikeout before the Phillies designated him for assignment on Friday.
Though drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round back in 2013, Mercado has been with Cleveland for his entire big-league career. He debuted with the club in 2019 and after playing 115 games that first year, finished eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting. He’s struggled in recent years, in part because of a lack of consistent playing time.
With Mercado gone, the Phillies’ outfield depth consists of Kyle Schwarber, Odúbel Herrera, Nick Castellanos, Matt Vierling, and Mickey Moniak. There’s a good amount of bat power among them, but defensively, they leave much to be desired. With a .966 fielding percentage and only one error in 921 2/3 career innings in centerfield, Mercado looked like a solid pickup for the club.
Fans will be happy that Mercado is no longer with the team, as many voiced their displeasure over him wearing Cole Hamels’ number when he arrived last week. Of course, it’s not Mercado’s fault that the Phillies are so stingy with retiring numbers; he’s worn #35 for his entire career. The real issue here is that the Phillies still need outfield help, and they’re down a man once again.