The Phillies should be proactive in bolstering the bench this offseason

Phillies Scott Kingery
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 30: Phillies INF Scott Kingery (4) hits a foul ball in the second inning during the game between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies on August 30, 2020 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

With so many other holes to fill on the roster, you might have forgotten that the Phillies’ bench is a disaster.

If the season started today, the Phillies’ bench would look something like this:

  • C – Rafael Marchan
  • IF – Kyle Holder
  • IF – Nick Maton
  • OF – Roman Quinn/Adam Haseley
  • OF – Kyle Garlick or Mickey Moniak

Suffice to say, Dave Dombrowski has his work cut out for him. Joe Girardi has already made it clear that he doesn’t view Rafael Marchan as a viable major league option. Micket Moniak isn’t ready for the majors yet, and Kyle Garlick was only signed for minor league depth. Oh, and to be frank, I didn’t even remember that Nick Maton and Kyle Holder were on the team. 

With so many other holes to fill this offseason (catcher, bullpen, starting rotation, etc.), the bench probably won’t be the front office’s top priority. While Dave Dombrowski can indirectly improve the bench by improving the starting lineup (ex. signing J.T. Realmuto would make Andrew Knapp the back-up catcher, an obvious upgrade over Rafael Marchan), it seems unlikely that he’ll make any key bench acquisitions in the coming weeks. 

However, the Phillies could actually give themselves a meaningful competitive advantage if they’re proactive about filling out their bench. As with any other position, there are only so many good bench players available. If the Phillies wait too long, those guys could already be off the board. Unlike the superstar free agents – who could very well wait until February before signing a deal – bench players are more likely to accept the first good offer they receive. Therefore, Dave Dombrowski would be smart to start making some good offers right away. The Phillies will need every edge they can get in a tough NL East division, and securing a great bench could definitely net them a win or two in 2021. 

Over the next few days, I’ll be assessing the Phillies’ bench situation by position: catcher, infield, and outfield. At catcher, the situation is still very dependent on J.T. Realmuto. In the infield, the team must decide if Scott Kingery will start full-time or if he’ll take on a super-utility role once again. As for the outfield, the Phillies need a strong offensive player to fill the role Jay Bruce has played the past two seasons. With no universal DH next year, good pinch hitters will be a hot commodity in the National League.

Check back soon for the next installment!

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire