Phillies Rumors: Front office on the lookout for a left-handed outfield bat

The Phillies are looking to add a left-handed hitting outfielder to serve in a reserve or pinch-hitting role.

Philadelphia Phillies Introduce Trea Turner
Philadelphia Phillies Introduce Trea Turner / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies' roster is set with their Opening Day game, which is now scheduled for Friday, March 29, after the team postposed the home opener due to inclement weather. However, the team is still looking to add another left-handed hitting outfielder, according to an article by USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Who is available to fill the Phillies' need?

The Phillies have two left-handed hitting outfielders on the roster: Brandon Marsh and Kyle Schwarber. The latter is expected to play less in left field this year as he transitions to being the club's primary designated hitter.

Per The Athletic's Matt Gelb, Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, commented on the decision (subscription required) not to carry a left-handed hitter off the bench other than catcher Garrett Stubbs.

"A lot of times you have to ask the manager. That’s how I’ve done it when you start getting to those spots," Dombrowski said, per Gelb. "OK. Here’s the scenario. You got these two guys on your bench. (Thomson) says, ‘If I have (Jake) Cave and I have (Whit) Merrifield versus a right-hander, I’m probably going to hit Merrifield.’ And he’s hit righties and lefties. So that also helped make that decision.”

Outfielders in Triple-A with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs who did not make the Phillies Opening Day roster who are left-handed hitters include David Dahl, Símon Muzziotti, and Cal Stevenson. Another option that hits left-handed but plays in the infield is Kody Clemens.

Options are scarce in free agency, but two former Phillies still available: Corey Dickerson and Darin Ruf. The former played 50 games for the Washington Nationals in 2023. His stat line was .250/.283/.354 with a .637 OPS. The latter played in 20 contests last season — nine with the San Francisco Giants and 11 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. The 37-year-old's line was .224/.333/.286 with an OPS of .619. Philadelphia may claim a left-handed hitter with minor-league options.

The Phillies acquired outfielder Cristian Pache at the start of the 2023 season as Dombrowski mentioned, “Well, we haven’t quit working. Am I anticipating it? Not necessarily. But I didn’t anticipate getting Pache last year. … We’re staying in touch, looking at things. We have our scouts looking at every name that comes across.”

Dombrowski may trade for a left-handed hitting outfielder with minor-league options remaining if he feels the team needs another batter at the position. If an injury creates more of a need, expect the Phillies to make a move, whether via trade, free agency, or promoting a player from the minor leagues.