2 Phillies players who’ve earned more playing time, 1 who deserves less

Which Phillies players should see more action and which should have their playing time cut back?
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Johan Rojas
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Johan Rojas / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Johan Rojas deserves less playing time

Prior to the start of the 2024 season, the Phillies had their starting lineup already set, but with one main question mark. That uncertainty was rookie Johan Rojas and whether or not he can handle being an everyday MLB player. After all, the exposure of his bat during the 2023 postseason was a main focal point entering this year.

There’s no doubt that Rojas can provide elite Gold Glove-caliber defense and significantly upgrades the Phillies' outfield defense whenever he plays. However, if he becomes too much of a liability at the plate, it will hinder his overall effectiveness with the Phillies and as a professional baseball player in the end.

Unfortunately, his struggles with the bat continued this spring. He compiled a less-than-stellar .170 average and a .478 OPS, with six runs scored, one double, two triples, six RBI, four stolen bases, three walks and nine strikeouts in 18 games played. Nevertheless, he still secured a spot on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster (subscription required).

Now almost two weeks into the regular season, Rojas is starting to look more and more like playoff Rojas all over again, rather than the hitter who joined the Phillies during their stretch run last season. Due to his ongoing struggles, Rojas was given a day off on Sunday to give him a chance to regroup. It seemed to pay off as he followed it up with a strong showing on Monday night, more than tripling his hit total for the season. But through Tuesday and Wednesday, he went 1-for-5.

In nine games to date, Rojas has posted an underwhelming .161 batting average, a .429 OPS, with just two runs scored, one double, one RBI, one stolen base, one caught stealing, two walks and six strikeouts in 31 at-bats. Although he has already registered 1 DRS and has been error-free in the field, his elite defense may not be enough to make up for the severe lack of offense.

Perhaps the Phillies should reduce some of his playing time going forward, as he appeared more in the zone and bounced back in a big way after his day off. Not only would it give the Phillies the best chance at winning, but also give Rojas some much-needed time and focus to fine-tune his bat to be MLB-ready. 

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