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Phillies promote Jorge Bonifacio, who will start in center field Friday


Jorge Bonifacio will start in center field for the Phillies Friday. (Cheryl Pursell)

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Friday that they have selected the contract of outfielder Jorge Bonifacio from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

To make room for Bonifacio — who will wear No. 39 — on both the 26-man and 40-man roster, reliever Mauricio Llovera has been designated for assignment. Llovera, 25, had a 9.45 ERA in six appearances for the Phillies this season.

Bonifacio will immediately be thrown into the fire, as the veteran outfielder will hit sixth and play center field for Joe Girardi’s offense Friday evening in San Diego. The Phillies are coming off of a series where they were swept by the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks, scoring just six total runs. Having fallen to 61-60, the Phillies are desperately searching for some sort of spark, as they’re on the cusp of letting the Atlanta Braves run away with the National League East.

Whether Bonifacio will provide any sort of jolt to what’s been a lifeless offense in recent days is hard to tell. The 28-year-old has a .244/.314/.398 career slash line in 726 at-bats split between the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers over the last four seasons. In 71 games between Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley this season, Bonifacio has homered 15 times, driven in 54 runs and posted a .918 OPS.

Bonifacio has played in just one career game (eight innings) in center field at the major league level, and that came in 2017. Tonight, he’ll become the eighth person to start a game in center field for the Phillies in 2021, joining a list that already includes Adam Haseley, Roman Quinn, Mickey Moniak, Odúbel Herrera, Luke Williams, Matt Vierling and Travis Jankowski.

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