Bohm recalled from Triple-A with clear mind

Phillies hire Preston Mattingly as player development director

September 29th, 2021

ATLANTA -- is back, and he said Tuesday afternoon at Truist Park that he learned a few things while he was away.

“Try to slow the game down a little bit and relax and just remember how good I was and that I can play,” he said.

The Phillies recalled Bohm from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday because they hope he can come off the bench and provide a big at-bat or two in the season’s final six games. (Freddy Galvis and Ronald Torreyes are expected to start at third base.) It is not where Bohm expected to be when the season started. He opened as the team’s everyday third baseman, but he struggled at times offensively and defensively and the Phillies optioned him to Triple-A on Aug. 22.

“Looking back, whatever happened and what I gained out of it is that now I know I can always get back,” he said. “I got sent down, went down there, got to work and got myself back. I think there’s a little bit of relief there knowing that I can play here.”

Bohm’s Triple-A demotion was interesting at the time because of what preceded it. He batted .320 (24-for-75) with three doubles, three home runs, 11 RBIs and an .880 OPS in a 23-game stretch from July 5 to Aug. 8. But after he committed three errors at third base in a three-game series against the Mets from Aug. 6-8, Phillies manager Joe Girardi stopped playing him.

Bohm started just three of the team’s next 11 games. He went 1-for-17 in that stretch.

Then he got optioned. The Phillies said they sent Bohm to Triple-A to work on his offense, not his defense. But there did not seem to be any specific mechanical adjustments or work at Triple-A. Instead, Bohm said he just wanted to get his mojo back.

“I just went down there and stopped thinking so much and stopped trying to be so robotic in there, you know?” he said. “I feel like I got caught up in mechanics. Because that’s the easiest thing to run to when you don’t see the numbers that you want. 'Well, what’s wrong?' There’s nothing really wrong. I was getting pretty robotic and just thinking a lot, and there’s a lot of stuff going on up here about … I wasn’t keeping it as simple as I could have. I think I went down there and simplified things and relaxed in the box and just kind of … yeah, just relaxed.”

The Phillies said they still see Bohm as their third baseman in 2022. The possibility of playing left field has not been brought to his attention.

“I’m not really thinking about '22 now,” he said. “I’m thinking about this right here.”

Bohm was in Buffalo with the IronPigs when he got the unexpected call. It did not match the excitement of his first call to the big leagues in 2021, but it meant something.

“I feel like I’m in a good spot,” he said. “I went down there. I never really lost faith in who I was and what I am capable of. I was never really necessarily worried about anything. It was just kind of relaxing and getting back to that comfortable easy swing where I’m not trying to hard, not trying to do too much, just kind of letting the game come to me.”

Phillies have a new farm director
A source confirmed to late Tuesday night that the Phillies will hire Preston Mattingly as their new player development director. The Athletic first reported the Mattingly hire.

The club has not confirmed the report.

Mattingly is the Padres’ Major League advance scouting and game-planning coordinator. He also is the son of Marlins manager Don Mattingly.

Mattingly is the Phillies’ first major hire since president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski removed former assistant general manager Bryan Minniti -- who oversaw the organization’s player development department since September 2017 -- and former player development director Josh Bonifay -- who served in the role since October 2018 -- from their roles last month.

Philadelphia had the first, eighth, third, 14th and 15th overall picks in the 2016-20 MLB Drafts, respectively. They invested millions into upgrades into player development. They piloted contemporary teachings they believed would catapult them from a 99-loss club in 2015 into a perennial powerhouse in the National League East. But MLB Pipeline ranks the Phillies’ farm system 27th in baseball. Baseball America ranks it 28th.