Expect to see more of Nick Maton in the Phillies lineup
With Philadelphia Phillies infielder Edmundo Sosa recently placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained hamstring, interim manager Rob Thomson might look to Nick Maton more often. He replaced Sosa at third late in Thursday’s game after he was removed with his injury.
Maton has been swinging a red-hot bat as of late, but sometimes is found on the wrong side of Philly’s platoon. The versatile 25-year-old has been splitting time in left and right field as of late, including some time at second base amid Jean Segura’s respective injured list stint.
He was the star of the show after hitting what would be the game-winning, two-run home run off of potential Cy Young winner Sandy Alcántara in Tuesday’s matchup against the Marlins.
Maton’s 191 wRC+ is obviously unsustainable, but would rank No. 1 on the roster. He also boasts an otherworldly 1.079 OPS — an even 1.300 at Citizens Bank Park. Even though Maton is left-handed, he actually holds a .310 average and .882 OPS opposite his same-handed counterparts in 194 career plate appearances.
It is obviously difficult to say if Maton will continue this production, but if his defense at the hot corner can be MLB-sufficient, there is no reason he shouldn’t become an almost everyday player for Thomson. Maton will be able to split time between four or five positions for the Phillies, especially if Rhys Hoskins’ absence is prolonged and Alec Bohm is forced to play more first base.
Yairo Munoz, who was recalled in a corresponding move to Sosa’s placement on the injured list, has a lousy .246 on-base percentage for the season. He started Friday’s game while hitting eighth in the lineup against Max Fried. That utility role that Sosa was playing should undoubtedly be handed to Maton.
Philadelphia is beginning a very difficult stretch of games during Sosa’s absence, so it would be a good test for Maton to keep up his production to determine if could start a game or two in October. Whether platooning with Matt Vierling or whoever has an off-day in the infield, he should start to see more consistent at-bats.