Phillies centerfielders: Scott Kingery not ready to return yet

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jim Salisbury
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Phillies notes: Not yet for Scott Kingery, when for Archie Bradley? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Though the Phillies are getting minuscule production from the center field position, they aren't ready to bring back Scott Kingery yet.

"Scottie went down to get right and we don't feel that he's ready to come back as of right now," manager Joe Girardi said late Monday afternoon, moments before his team's scheduled game against the New York Mets was rained out.

Roman Quinn was slated to start in center field Monday night. He and Adam Haseley have gotten all the reps at the position over the first nine games of the season.

The Phillies have run out to a 6-3 start while getting just three hits (all singles), no walks and 10 strikeouts in 30 at-bats from their centerfielders.

Including time as a pinch-hitter, Quinn is just 1 for 16 with no walks and eight strikeouts. Haseley, including time in left field and as a pinch-hitter, is 4 for 19 with no walks and four strikeouts.

In spring training, Girardi made it clear that he was looking for production and the ability to get on base from his centerfielder and having the job in April didn't mean a player would have it in May, if he lacked production.

Nine games is probably too early to pull the plug on the current setup. Players need time to build at-bats and get going early in the season. But if things don't improve and the Phillies do opt for a new look at the position, there are candidates in Kingery and Odubel Herrera.

Herrera is back on the field at the alternate site in Lehigh Valley after a well-publicized suspension for domestic violence. Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has said that he wouldn't hesitate to bring Herrera to the majors, provided there was a need and he was performing well at the alternate site, or in the minors when that season gets going next month.

It would be quite surprising if Kingery did not get back to the majors at some point this season, but the move is apparently not close. He needs more time at the alternate site, according to Girardi.

"We want to see consistent at-bats and a change in his mechanics a little bit, using the whole field," the manager said. 

Phillies officials receive daily reports from the alternate site. What's Girardi hearing on Kingery?

"He's been OK," Girardi said. "There's been some good at-bats and then there's been some other at-bats. He's used the whole field more down there. It's been OK. We feel like it's going in the right direction."

Phillies officials have asked Kingery to lose the launch and level his swing. Any progress?

"Yeah, I think so," Girardi said. "And the big thing is (hit the ball) all over the field, that's the important thing."

Bradley update

Girardi was still awaiting results of diagnostics performed on reliever Archie Bradley's strained oblique. Once they come in and the severity of the injury is known, Girardi will have an idea of how long Bradley will be out. Even minor oblique injuries can take three weeks to heal.

Bradley has been slow building arm strength and it has shown in his fastball.

"I don't think it's unusual for velocities still to be down a little bit," Girardi said. "Archie is a 94-95 (mph) guy. I know we've seen 93s. 

"I still think some guys are probably gathering arm strength. This little setback is probably not going to help it. It might take a little longer, but Archie is not a guy that throws 97 or 98 anymore. He's 94-95 probably at the max."

That's still enough to get hitters out, especially when located well and mixed with other pitches. It's just a matter of when Bradley will be back and that's still unclear.

Subscribe to the Phillies Talk podcastApple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube