CLEARWATER, Fla. — Outfielder Roman Quinn believes that he can help the Phillies on a regular basis, and the 26-year-old is ready to focus on staying healthy so he can stay in the lineup.
Quinn’s bad luck with injuries is well known at this point. He missed two months in 2018 with a torn ligament in his right finger while playing for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He was called up to the Phillies soon after he returned from that injury and finished the season in Philadelphia, despite fighting a broken toe for the final month.
Last season, Quinn dealt with a nagging groin injury that limited him to just 44 games. But he has entered spring camp healthy, and with a new commitment to making sure he remains healthy enough to be a factor this season.
“I’m staying within myself and I am trying to treat this more like a marathon and not a sprint,” Quinn said. “We have a great group of people here, with our athletic training staff and the people that handle our nutrition. I’m trying to be in communication with them more and make sure I’m doing what I need to do in order to preserve my body and recover quicker.”
Manager Joe Girardi has talked about limiting injuries related to fatigue, in order to ensure that the Phillies have a healthy roster in the second half of the season. He realizes that some of Quinn’s injuries couldn’t be avoided, but Girardi wants to prevent the nagging muscle issues that could keep Quinn out of the lineup for extended stretches.
“I’ve asked our people to dig in,” Girardi said. “Is there a rhyme or reason when he pulls a muscle? Because those of the ones I [am concerned about].
“And we [haven’t found] a rhyme or reason. So we continue to try to address it. We’ve talked about some different things. He’s a guy that is used to playing every day but has not played every day the last couple of years. I think we’re just going to rack our brains and try to figure out how to keep him on the field.”
Girardi sees the switch-hitting Quinn as a player that can provide a lot of positives in the lineup with his speed and ability to get on base. He has an on-base percentage of .321 with 23 stolen bases in 109 Major League games.
“When he gets on base that’s an issue,” Girardi said. “It forces pitchers to speed up and he grabs their attention. It takes that much of their attention away, and [the next pitch] could be a miss and it could be over the plate and it turns into a big inning.”
Quinn describes his impact in a game as being half the battle he’s trying to win. The other half would be remaining healthy enough to be available when called upon. And if that becomes an everyday role for Quinn, he wants to be ready for it.
“You have to be ready to contribute at all times,” Quinn said. “I want to help this team win and I know I can’t do that if I’m not healthy and playing. Right now everything feels great and my focus is just making sure I’m in the best shape to help this team all season.”