Matt Vierling, Detroit Tigers
Many would recall that Matt Vierling was part of the trade package sent to Detroit that helped bring in electric closer Gregory Soto to the Phillies during the 2022-23 offseason. Prior to the trade, Vierling had been the Phillies’ ideal utilityman for the past couple of years, as he had the ability to play multiple positions in both the infield and outfield, while at the same time, provided solid production at the plate and chipped in offensively at opportune times. With the departure of Vierling, the Phillies signed Josh Harrison this past offseason to help fill the void.
However, that plan has completely failed as Harrison has struggled mightily this season, hitting a measly .219 with a .586 OPS, with only eight runs scored, two home runs, 10 RBI, three walks and 20 strikeouts in only 96 at-bats in a part-time role. For someone that had been a career .271 hitter, along with providing some much needed speed on the basepaths and solid run production, all of it has been completely absent this year with the Phillies. To make matters worse, he has been placed on the IL recently with a wrist contusion (retroactive to July 9th). Vierling, on the other hand, has done an admirable job with the Tigers, posting a .275 average, .751 OPS, with 27 runs scored, seven home runs, 24 RBI and five stolen bases while providing lineup flexibility by hitting in different spots in the lineup depending on the matchup.
Both Harrison and Edmundo Sosa haven’t been getting the job done all year as the Phillies’ utilityman, as the ballclub desperately searches for the ideal candidate to essentially replace them for the stretch run. Who better to consider now than circling back to Vierling, who will definitely be available at the trade deadline with the Tigers currently quite a distance away from playoff contention. As the saying goes, second time around is a charm.