Philadelphia Phillies: Mickey Moniak can save us from Odubel Herrera

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Mickey Moniak is hitting this spring. He isn’t just slapping singles either. The former first overall draft pick is showing off some power. It’s the kind of Philadelphia Phillies news they needed to see this spring.

Several of the recent first-round Phillies draft picks have been caught in a weird limbo where they aren’t quite cooked but also not doing enough to earn regular playing time. The trio includes Moniak, Alec Bohm, and recently traded outfielder Adam Haseley. Drafted in consecutive years, the threesome all came out of 2021 looking like bench players at their absolute best.

Bohm’s place with the Phillies remains in question. At least for now, it looks like he will remain within the organization. Moniak is beginning to turn heads at the perfect time. With some questions about the club’s center field situation, Moniak can help save us from Odubel Herrera.

Phillies outfielder Mickey Moniak can make the Odubel Herrera reunion look worse, and that’s great!

The Phillies went into the offseason with the need for at least two outfielders. They kind of solved this. They signed free agents Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. It’s hard to call either a true outfielder when both are best utilized as a DH. Nevertheless, there are going to be a lot of innings with one of them in left field.

Center field remains questionable. It appeared as if the Phillies would open the year with a platoon between Herrera and Matt Vierling. Herrera was re-signed this offseason to a one-year contract worth $1.75 million after the team bought him out of his previous deal. The idea of signing Herrera in the first place was lazy thinking. It was also a bad look to bring back a guy with a domestic abuse suspension in the recent past with the ball club.

Herrera will be unavailable for Opening Day, and now the center field situation got a lot more palatable. Moniak can now step in and get some of those at-bats. In fact, he can even steal Herrera’s spot on the team.

Moniak is a long way from digging his heels in and playing every day in center field. Vierling, a right-handed hitter, should at least start against lefties.

What will the Philadelphia Phillies do when Odubel Herrera comes back?

Is it too unreasonable for the Phillies to simply cut Herrera? It’s not likely given the fact that they just signed him. The team can manage with a roster where Moniak, Vierling, or Herrera starts in center field and the other two find a spot on the bench. This does limit them defensively, however. The team isn’t flush with infield options.

Fortunately, with the DH present and the death of the double-switch and regular pinch-hitters, most teams will probably have no immediate need to stack their rosters with anything more than the starting nine. We could still see pinch-hitters for a better matchup. Inevitable injuries will also give those second-string players more opportunities.

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Herrera’s contract is no longer burdensome enough for the Phillies to talk themselves into playing him even if his performance isn’t meeting expectations. Although it was Vierling who may have been our new favorite Philadelphia Phillies player because of his competition with Herrera, Moniak’s success may completely rid the roster of him entirely.