WASHINGTON -- The Phillies’ lineup looked thin on Monday without Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius, although it isn’t stopping them from scoring. They have scored at least seven runs in five consecutive games.
Hoskins is scheduled to have season-ending surgery on Tuesday in Philadelphia to repair a torn abdomen. Realmuto is hobbled with a sore left ankle. Gregorius is on paternity leave, and he might not return until Friday. But Alec Bohm is not an option to help right now.
The Phillies optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Aug. 22. He is batting .318 with two doubles, four RBIs and an .873 OPS in six games with Lehigh Valley.
“We want him to work on some things,” Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday afternoon at Nationals Park. “He’s swinging OK. Just like here, he was swinging OK. But we want him to continue to work on his swing. That’s really what it comes down to. Power, swing, the whole bit of it. Driving the ball. We’ve got things that we’re working on with his swing that we’ve outlined to him. We want him to work on those things, and it’s better if he does that on a day in and day out basis.”
So, is it more offense than defense? Bohm stopped playing third base earlier this month following some defensive struggles.
“The glove is not keeping him from playing here in our mind,” Dombrowski said. “He’s got to continue to work on that. But he’s got to hit. That’s what we want him to do, so he needs to work on that.”
Utility infielder Ronald Torreyes has played third base regularly for weeks, but he is batting .202 with a .511 OPS in his last 31 games. When Gregorius returns, the Phillies could play Freddy Galvis more at third.
“They’re two different guys,” Dombrowski said about Torreyes and Bohm. “Torreyes is a utility infielder at the big league level that’s played very well for us this year. Bohm is a guy we’re trying to develop and make him a good big league everyday player. In our estimation, he would benefit the most by playing every single day at this time. That’s what it comes down to. We just want him to keep working on his swing.”
Don’t boo the fans
Before Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in Feb. 2019, Jayson Werth explained Phillies fans to him.
“I told him if you win in Philly, it’s the best,” Werth said in March 2019. “I don’t think any city wins better. They win the best and lose the worst. It’s an awesome place to play. It’s a great city. There is no place better to win.”
Werth’s comments are worth resurfacing after the Mets made headlines Sunday for flashing the thumbs-down sign at fans at Citi Field. The Mets have been losing a lot lately, despite adding several high-priced players, and so Mets fans have been booing. Go figure, right? But apparently the boos have occupied a prominent space in the minds of several Mets players because they consciously decided to flash them the thumbs-down symbol as a way of booing them back.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi knows how tough East Coast fans can be. He played with the Yankees from 1996-99 before he managed them from 2008-17. This is his second season managing the Phillies.
“You have to learn to ignore it and understand that the boos are them just really wanting you to do well,” Girardi said. “As a player, I used to boo myself when I didn’t do well. So what’s the difference? You’re frustrated. They’re not saying they don’t like you as a person. The fans don’t like the result, but neither does the player or the people involved in it. I think you just have to learn to ignore it and understand there’s a real passion in the East Coast. And East Coast people are expressive. But they’re also really, really expressive when you win, and it’s fantastic. So you get both ends of the spectrum.”