During the 2022-23 offseason, the Phillies claimed outfielder Jake Cave off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles and placed him on their 40-man roster at the time. He had a promising start to his career with the Minnesota Twins as in his rookie season, as he hit a respectable .265 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI in 91 games. Since then, he hasn’t been able to reproduce those numbers in any of the subsequent years, but the Phillies were willing to take the chance, given some of the potential he possessed.
Cave definitely got his chance when he made the Phillies’ 2023 Opening Day roster, but he struggled a bit offensively for the month of April, as in 20 games, he batted .222 with a .619 OPS, with three runs scored, one home run, 9 RBI and three stolen bases. In order to make room for Bryce Harper who was being reinstated from the IL, Cave was sent back down to the minors to their Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He actually performed quite well during his time there, until he was recently called back up to the big leagues in late July, with Harper moving to first base and Kyle Schwarber moving to the DH slot, opening up the left field position once again.
However, in 10 games, Cave has gone 5-for-26 with just two runs scored and two RBI while striking out nine times. At the same time, fellow rookie teammate Johan Rojas had done quite well in his brief stint in the majors so far, hitting .290 with a close to .700 OPS, eight RBI and four stolen bases in just 38 at-bats. Looking down the road, the emergence of Rojas may give him the upper hand in landing a permanent outfield spot with the Phillies, to go along with Brandon Marsh and Nick Castellanos, so Cave may once again be the odd man out by the year’s end.