Phillies option struggling Mickey Moniak to Lehigh Valley

Mickey Moniak
Philadelphia Phillies’ Mickey Moniak runs to first after hitting an RBI singe during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, June 4, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Following their 3-2 walk-off victory against the Miami Marlins on Monday evening, the Philadelphia Phillies announced that Mickey Moniak, former first overall draft pick and center fielder, has been optioned down to AAA.

Moniak, 24, went 1-for-4 with one strikeout in last night’s victory against the Marlins. Moniak has struggled to get the ball rolling at the plate this season for the Phillies, with only four hits in 25 at bats on the season. The primary issue for Moniak has been his strikeout rate as 11 of his 21 registered outs this season have been strikeouts. A .286 BABIP is not a terrible number to have, but when you are unable to consistently put the ball in play, your BABIP becomes irrelevant.

The one saving grace for the center fielder is the fact that he is the most fundamentally sound outfielder in the Phillies’ current selection. Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber are both former infielders while Odubel Herrera will make the occasional amazing play and then botch multiple routine plays.

New Phillie on the Block

In Moniak’s stead, the Phillies have selected the contract of Yairo Munoz from AAA. Munoz, a 27-year old with Major League experience, signed a minor league contract with the Phillies in the offseason. The utility player has experience at second base, shortstop, third base, and in the outfield, making him a good fit for the Phillies’ bench as they currently lack depth in both categories.

Over the course of four seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox, Munoz has recorded a .274 batting average along with a .722 OPS over the course of 566 plate appearances. In 143 career hits, Munoz, a right-handed hitter, primarily pulls the ball into left field for singles with 40 career extra base hits including 11 home runs.

Munoz has not seen much action, however, in recent seasons. In 2021, Munoz only saw 11 at bats with the Red Sox, going 1-for-11, while spending most of his season in AAA ball. The utility player has had a history of playing time complaints in the past as well dating back to his time with the Cardinals. So far this season, Munoz batted .319 for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

Munoz will make his 2022 debut tonight for the Phillies as he starts at second base for the Phillies against the Marlins. He will bat eighth for the Phillies on the night as they face LHP Trevor Rogers. In order to make room for Munoz on the 40-man roster, Jean Segura was placed on the 60-day Injured List as he continues to recover from a broken finger.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson