(Cue movie announcer voice…)
“In a world….where the bullpen phone is off the hook, and pitchers come and go. In a world, where third-basemen and second-basemen are sent to the outfield. A group of men are struggling to make a difference. And their day is coming.”
I’ve been spending a fair amount of time gazing out at the horizon. Not the actual horizon, although that would be more pleasing than watching the losing baseball we’ve seen around here lately. No, the player horizon. I awaited and predicted (and predicted again, and again…) the arrival of top pitching prospect Aaron Nola. Now, I’ve turned my attention to the outfielders.
There’s a logjam of mediocrity in Philadelphia. They’ll keep Odubel Herrera on the team for his “rule 5” status. Cody Asche and Dom Brown are still young enough to have a future with the foundering franchise–if they can play well enough. Ben Revere could be traded, and Jeff Franceour is an experienced right-handed batter. But for now, there’s no movement in Philadelphia and no place for guys to move up. At the same time, there are AA guys in Reading who are ready for a new challenge. I see changes coming in the IronPigs outfield.
Brian Bogusevic has been having a terrific year–picking up where he left off in AAA last year when he came roaring back from a broken shin with a hot August. He’s hitting .316/.372/.444 this season, and rarely goes more than one game without a hit. He’s been the IronPigs most consistent offensive player. He’s also played all three outfield positions and swiped 11 bags. But, he has a July 1 opt-out clause in his contract.
Jordan Danks used to be an IronPig killer. He’s a nice guy with 180 games of MLB experience and a 40-man roster spot. However, he’s hitting .241/.286/.292 with one home run for the IronPigs this season, and that’s not exactly pushing for a spot in Philadelphia. It’s well below the .270/.355/.460 +16HR he hit with Charlotte last season.
In Reading, speedy prospect Roman Quinn is going to be on the shelf until at least August 1 with a hip flexor tear. But look what these guys are doing:
Cameron Perkins: .252/.298/.430 with 8HR–and this after a very slow April. He has 112 games of AA experience, and 74 games of AAA experience.
Aaron Altherr: .290/.368/.490 with 6HR. He has 178 games under his belt at AA. He’s walking more and striking out less, this season.
Kelly Dugan: He’s just back from his annual injury, but has a combined 137 games of AA experience and he’s mashing right now.
Injuries are always a concern–at every level–so I’m thinking they carry Bogusevic all the way to the July 1 deadline, just in case, because he’s certainly the one who would go up to Philly if needed–or if Revere gets traded sooner rather than later. Jordan Danks offers some experience and currently has the 40-man spot if needed for quick up-and-down moves via option. And, somebody’s gotta play the outfield in Reading if they bring those three guys up to AAA. So we’ll wait and see. I can’t imagine Bogusevic wouldn’t be able to find a better situation somewhere else, unfortunately for us as IronPigs fans.
As I gaze out at the player horizon, I see a team of outfielders ready to move up. Unfortunately, that also means some might have to move out.
Cover Photo: Cheryl Pursell