Phillies looking for center field platoon bat, per report

Adam Haseley held his own in his rookie season but did not fare well against left-handed pitching. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

According to a report from’s Jon Morosi, the Phillies are looking for a right-handed bat to platoon with Adam Haseley in center field in 2020.

The biggest takeaway from this news is that it appears that the Phillies do not see Haseley as an everyday center fielder. Haseley, who the Phillies selected in the first round of the 2017 amateur draft, was forced to the majors last June following Andrew McCutchen’s injury and Odubel Herrera’s suspension. He had a .531 OPS in 57 plate appearances against lefties but held his own with a .778 OPS against righties.

His mild success at the plate combined with his solid defense in center field led some to believe that Haseley could be the team’s center fielder of the future. But, there are still questions surrounding his defensive range, and whether or not his bat is too light if he ends up in a corner outfield spot.

It has yet to be seen exactly what the Phillies plan to do with Odubel Herrera, who is returning from a suspension following a domestic incident with his girlfriend last season. The other in-house option, switch-hitter Roman Quinn, was productive at times last season but has proven to be unreliable and injury-prone.

There are several options available that fit what the Phillies are looking for. Kevin Pillar is coming off a career-best season at the plate and had a .823 OPS against lefties. Cameron Maybin was forced into action after injuries plagued the Yankees, and fared incredibly well with a .858 OPS on the season.

Guillermo Heredia, who was recently released by the Tampa Bay Rays, has a career .737 OPS against lefties and could be a bargain option if Maybin and Pillar are out of the team’s price range. With roughly $5 million left before exceeding the luxury tax, a cheaper option like Heredia aligns more with how the team has acted during this offseason.

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The question now is how the Phillies plan to treat center field once Alec Bohm is called up from the minors. Bohm’s bat appears to be nearly ready, and a call-up early in the 2020 season would be a surprise to no one. But, with Bohm at third, the Phillies would theoretically be forced to move Scott Kingery to center field. If this is in the team’s plans, it seems more likely that they will be bargain hunting in the search for a platoon bat that would simply serve as a short-term solution.

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