Every successful team has those guys who step up and into a bigger role. It might be temporary. We may even forget all about it 365 days later. This year’s Philadelphia Phillies roster began as a top-heavy one missing a fifth starter and its starting first baseman. Other roster holes have been plugged by fringe major leaguers along the way.
Now into August, declarations can be made as to who can handle the pressure and who can’t. These three Phillies players have been handed the opportunity to take on some additional responsibilities. Each is making the most of it. They’ve made up for injuries, lack of performance by others, and front office mistakes.
1) Phillies outfielder Johan Rojas is showing he belongs in the majors
Who needs another outfielder when you already have Johan Rojas? The idea of the Phillies adding a right-handed hitting outfielder at the trade deadline was a major rumor. They didn’t pull the trigger. Instead, they appear to roll with rookie Johan Rojas in the role.
It wasn’t until this year when Rojas became a guy even the casual fan began to pay attention to. His minor league numbers were nothing fantastic outside of his stolen base prowess. Fortunately, down in Double-A for Reading, Rojas was able to catch fire. He batted .306/.361/.484 with 9 home runs, 45 RBI and 30 stolen bases. Looking for some help at the major league level, the Phillies let him skip a grade. He was welcomed to the show and it looks like one of the best decisions the front office has made all year.
Rojas will get a chance to play even more so with Brandon Marsh on the IL. He has already shown us he’s a terrific center fielder. He’s going to save the team a lot of grief by tracking down fly balls and stealing runs with his glove.
His bat has done plenty of talking, too. He’s slashing .326/.356/.395 through his first 17 games.