Nate Schierholtz was the one player the Phillies got in return for Hunter Pence who was not only big league-ready, but had already accrued a fair amount of major league service time. A kind of enigma in San Francisco, Schierholtz came to Philly with the promise of consistent playing time and an opportunity to prove himself to his new manager as an everyday player. It was a new start for Schierholtz, who had seemingly fallen out of favor with his former manager, Bruce Bochy. When the trade was made, Schierholtz claimed to relish the opportunity, feeling excitement over the possibility of starting anew.
The excitement and energy Schierholtz was feeling shown through in his Phillies debut on August 1. After singling in his first at-bat, Schierholtz gave the Phillies the lead over Washington when he hit a solo shot to make it 3-2 in the fifth. That would be the final score. Suddenly–and very briefly–Philadelphia was enamored with Schierholtz, whose home run made him the game’s hero.
It’d be all downhill from there.
Over his next ten games (eight starts), Schierholtz would hit just .185 with a paltry .480 OPS. He’d have just one extra base hit–a double–in that time. He seemed to be struggling to adjust to his new surroundings and his play exhibited as much. Still, Manuel was playing him regularly and seemed intent on giving him every opportunity to succeed. That opportunity would vanish when Schierholtz, in typical 2012 Phillies fashion, landed on the DL with a broken toe just twelve days after making his debut with the team.
He’d end up missing about three weeks of time before returning to action. His toe was still broken, but he opted to play through the pain. However, the injury hindered Manuel’s ability to play him regularly, and, while he appeared in 26 games, he’d make just six starts the rest of the way.
Schierholtz’s final line with the Phillies: in 73 plate appearances, he hit .273 with a .698 OPS, one home run, five RBI and five runs scored. He struck out ten times and walked five times. His OPS+ was a lowly 88.
Final Grade: Incomplete It seems unfair to me to grade a player on less than 75 plate appearances. While he didn’t perform particularly well, he also wasn’t given the fullest opportunity to succeed. Part of that was, no doubt, due to his injury. It does bear mentioning that Schierholtz had a .303 BABIP during his time with the Phillies, so his results don’t appear to be the product of poor luck. In the end, it seems it could be a short stay in Philly for Schierholtz, as he could potentially be a non-tender candidate, depending on how the Phillies offseason plays out.