For those who recall, Jake Cave was claimed off waivers by the Phillies from the Baltimore Orioles during the 2022-23 offseason. With his solid performance during Spring Training, in which he hit three home runs, drove in 14, and hit .440 in 17 games, Cave ended up making the Phillies’ 2023 Opening Day roster.
Unfortunately, Cave didn’t have the best start to the season, as he was eventually demoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in early May. However, he would turn his game around in the minors and ultimately got the call back up to the big league team following the All-Star break.
From there, he ended up sticking with the team until the end of the season despite his ongoing struggles at the major league level. Overall, Cave hit .212 with a .620 OPS with 18 runs scored, five home runs, and 21 RBI in 65 games played with the Phillies in 2023.
Given how Cave usually raked when playing in the minors, but failed to translate that success to the majors for the past few seasons, it has been quite frustrating for both Cave himself and his teams. His power potential is definitely there, but somehow he isn’t able to harness it in the big leagues.
With Johan Rojas establishing himself this past season as a viable option in the outfield, along with the return of the defensively steady Cristian Pache, there may not be enough at-bats to go around for Cave in the 2024 season. As a result, he could be used as trade bait to help the Phillies address a particular need, along with giving Cave a chance to get more playing time with a new team.