MILWAUKEE – It felt like three years to Scott Kingery. It had been only one.
Kingery rejoined the Phillies on Tuesday, exactly a year after he cleared waivers and the club outrighted him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Philadelphia selected Kingery’s contract from Triple-A, after it placed infielder Johan Camargo on the 10-day injured list with a strained right knee. The Phillies also recalled outfielder Matt Vierling from Triple-A because Zack Wheeler was placed on the paternity list.
Wheeler is expected to start Saturday against Arizona.
Kingery is back because the Phillies are short on infielders. Second baseman Jean Segura went on the IL on June 1 with a fractured right index finger and is out 10-12 weeks. He had surgery on Friday. Nick Maton was recalled last Wednesday to take Segura’s place on the roster. He played well in two games, then sprained his right shoulder on Friday. The club activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day IL on Sunday to take Maton’s place.
That is when Camargo injured his right knee.
“It came as a little bit of a shock to me, but anytime you get the call up it’s a good feeling,” Kingery said. “However long or however short it is, I’m ready to go.”
Kingery, 28, batted .185 (10-for-54) with one home run, nine walks, 22 strikeouts and a .593 OPS in 16 games with Lehigh Valley. He missed the beginning of the season following right shoulder surgery in July to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Essentially, Kingery has played about 40 games in the past year.
The hope continues to be that Kingery rediscovers the form that made the Phillies sign him to a six-year, $24 million contract in the spring of 2018, before he ever played an inning in the big leagues.
“I was talking to one of my buddies back home,” Kingery said. “He said, 'You realize it’s legit only been a year.' I said, 'It doesn’t seem like that.' It’s been a long year with the surgery and everything. It’s been good to go out there and just play after being away and not being able to play for 10-11 months.”