Four Bats the Phillies need to heat up this month

MLB: SEP 20 Blue Jays at Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Philadelphia Phillies catcher Rafael Marchan (13) during the Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays on September 20, 2020 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

The Phillies can’t keep waiting for Rhys Hoskins to save them.

The number of injuries and general disappointments across the Phillies roster has generated a familiar scenario.

Here’s the reality. We’re hitting the home stretch, and the Phillies cannot afford to wait for Didi Gregorious, Andrew Knapp (‘out,’ I know), and others to break out.

That means you’re looking at either young and inexperienced or replacement level players (yes, including Freddy Galvis) to slam the door on the 2021 playoff hunt.

This is a list of players that the Phillies shouldn’t have to depend on, but injuries and poor play have led us down this road.

Hoskins went down for the season, Alec Bohm became almost unplayable on defense, and Gregorious can’t start against left-handed pitching. So the Phils have to get creative. Ultimately, they can’t send out players who are actively losing them games.

The collective WAR between Bohm, Gregorious, and backup backstop, Knapp, is currently -3.0. That’s the difference between a first place in the NL East and chasing the wildcard.

So although it may not be as pretty as you’d like, let’s take a look at a couple of replacement-level players that have made a positive difference despite their presumed bench status on the roster. They’ve done just enough not to lose games, and now Joe Girardi is going to need them to win some.

Freddy Galvis – 0.1 WAR

Who would have thought? Over the last week, Galvis has been responsible for an OPS of 1.089, three homers, and a double.

Phillie nation has been rightly excited to see the shortstop of their Dark Days return with a shot to make the playoffs.

Whether Galvis or Ronald Torreyes sees more action over the next few weeks remains to be seen. If Galvis has anything left in the tank, the Phillies are on empty and will take a siphon or two.

Matt Vierling – 0.2 WAR

I didn’t know this kid’s name until June (maybe that’s on me), but, in limited action, he’s made his mark.

Without much to show for his time in the Bigs, let’s travel to Scranton. I never thought I’d say that, even though both my parents went to college in the town with only one bar (may have grown since the ’80s).

From August 24th through the 29th against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, right before Vierling received the call to return to the majors, he drew a walk in 19% of all plate appearances.

The boy is patient, but I’m tired of waiting. It’s been ten years since the Phillies made the playoffs. I’m sitting over here on Thunder Island, time to find some love.

Brad Miller – 0.5 WAR

Miller’s just another Phillie that’s had himself a week. He wasn’t the only one, but Miller’s two homers in the Milwaukee Brewer’s opener helped break things open.

With the Phillies likely opting to have Realmuto remain behind home plate for most of his appearances, Miller should get a good look at first base.

I’m the first to admit this won’t feel the same without Hoskins, but other than spoiling a perfect game; Miller has been a bit of a hero in 2021. He’s no Shrek, but I’m waiting on a Cinderella story, and not even Camilla Cabello can ruin that.

Rafael Marchan – 0.4 WAR

It took a Hoskins injury and a COVID-19 designation for Knapp to firmly supplant Marchan as someone the Phillies will need to lean on down the stretch.

Perhaps my favorite player on this list (I traded for him in my MLB The Show Orioles dynasty, which is finally on XBOX), Marchan seems to enjoy left-handed pitchers. Not my taste, but not one to judge.

In 2021, Marchan has an OPS of .893 against lefties, including his only home run. The sample size is limited, but you could do worse in the eight-hole.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire