3 Phillies players who must step up in Trea Turner’s absence

With Turner on the IL, we can think of at least three players who need to step up their game.
Philadelphia Phillies infielder Whit Merrifield is one of the players who needs to step up in Trea Turner absence
Philadelphia Phillies infielder Whit Merrifield is one of the players who needs to step up in Trea Turner absence / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next

Whit Merrifield

One of the Phillies’ most prized offseason signings, veteran utilityman Whit Merrifield, has been quite the disappointment so far this year.

After tearing it up big time during spring training, posting a .405 batting average and 1.143 OPS with seven runs scored, six doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in just 16 games, Merrifield has been just a shell of that since the start of the regular season. Given his pedigree of being a former three-time All-Star and two-time AL leader in hits, much was expected of him by the Phillies heading into the year.

In 16 games, he is hitting just .250 with a .725 OPS, seven runs scored, two doubles, two home runs, three RBI and three stolen bases. The fact that he hasn’t been able to play every day may have something to do with his struggles. Last year, Merrifield put together a solid All-Star season with the Toronto Blue Jays after receiving more consistent playing time following the first month of the season.

So perhaps Turner’s injury will open the opportunity for Merrifield to garner more playing time going forward. Hopefully, we will see him be able to repeat his dominant performance from last season to help support the Phillies' offense. He hit a home run in Saturday's 14-3 win over the Giants, so is that the beginning of a hot streak for the veteran?

In the end, we can hope that Turner won’t be out as long as expected, as losing someone of his caliber for a significant amount of time is never an easy task to replace for any team. Not to mention that the Phillies are in a neck-and-neck battle with the Atlanta Braves for the NL East division.

manual