Examining Phils' outfield options as injuries pile up

August 17th, 2022

CINCINNATI -- The Phillies are considering their options in the outfield if Brandon Marsh is placed on the 10-day injured list, which is very likely.

They don’t have many.

“We are a little thin,” Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday morning at Great American Ball Park. “We can look at some things internally, but you can also look at things externally. We just got hit all at one time on this.”

Marsh injured his left knee in Tuesday night’s victory over the Reds. He tried to make a leaping catch at the wall, landed awkwardly and bent his left knee. He limped off the field. Marsh had an MRI exam on Tuesday night that revealed a bone bruise. But he also has a sprained left ankle. The bone bruise and sprained left ankle make it very likely he is placed on the IL on Friday. It is unclear how the Phillies could replace him on the 26-man roster.

Here is a look at the Phillies’ outfield situation:

Kyle Schwarber has not started since last Thursday because of a mild strain in his right calf. Schwarber said he expects to the lineup Friday against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park, but as a DH. It is unclear when Schwarber will play left field again.

• Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Símon Muzziotti injured his patellar tendon over the weekend. He will not play again this season. Muzziotti was next in line to come up, Dombrowski said.

Bryce Harper could rejoin the team around Sept. 1, but he will only DH upon his return. He has a tear in the UCL in his right elbow. The Phillies recently shut down his throwing program.

• Triple-A Lehigh Valley utility players Yairo Muñoz and Johan Camargo and Double-A Reading outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz are the only remaining players on the 40-man roster who can play the outfield.

• An addition to the 40-man roster is possible. Double-A Reading outfielder Johan Rojas is the organization’s No. 5 prospect, but Dombrowski pointed out that he hits right-handed like outfielder Matt Vierling.

• The Phillies earlier this month lost two outfielders. They traded Mickey Moniak to the Angels earlier for Noah Syndergaard and released Odúbel Herrera when they acquired Marsh. Herrera remains unsigned.

Infielder Nick Maton was in left field on Wednesday. He played left Tuesday after Marsh departed the game. It was the first time Maton played outfield in the big leagues. He played only 7 1/3 innings in the outfield in the Minors.

Maton played well Tuesday. He made a diving catch and a nice catch in the corner.

“He looked like Ed Delahanty out there,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said.

If the Phillies needed a fourth outfielder on Wednesday, infielder Edmundo Sosa or backup catcher Garrett Stubbs would have played.

The Phillies could look outside the organization for help, if they feel like Marsh will miss an extended period of time.

“Really when you get to the point where you’re scrambling, which we would be if we lose Marsh – and Schwarber and Muzziotti within a few days – you explore all options, which is what we’re doing just in case,” Dombrowski said. “I’m still hopeful that he may not have to go on the IL, but we’ll just wait and see.”