If you turn on Philly sports radio, you’ll hear some version of a common discussion that’s permeated pretty much every show from Angelo Cataldi to Mike Missanelli.
“The Phillies suck and need to call up [insert minor leaguer here].”
It’s an intriguing notion, but one that I wholeheartedly disagree with.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not disagree with the notion that the Phillies are a dumpster fire. They have very few quality starts and when they somehow manage to piece one together, the inconsistent bats once again fall silent. I personally think the organization should give Bob McLure his pink slip. I’ve never seen such a consistently sub-par (with the exception of Ben Lively) pitching rotation from top to bottom.
[I won’t go so far as to say they need to get rid of hitting coach Matt Stairs though. I think he’s a tremendous coach and any shortcomings in terms of player development at the plate is on the shoulders of the player, not the coach. But I digress.]
Yes, the Phillies are a dumpster fire. Yes, there are some intriguing prospects in the minors that I would love to see get a chance in the majors, but just not yet.
Since the start of the season, I’ve had my eye on the performances of Rhys Hoskins, Dylan Cozens, Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, Jorge Alfaro, and J.P. Crawford, and for the most part, they haven’t disappointed (looking at you, J.P.).
But the big point of discussion as of late is what to do in the absence of César Hernandez for the next 6-8 weeks. Admittedly the time is ripe for Scott Kingery, currently crushing AA with 18 homers, to make his big league appearance.
Again, I say it’s time to pump the brakes.
Would bringing up some of these guys make for a much more enjoyable season? Undoubtedly. But it’s important to look at the lasting effects of bringing pieces of the Phillies future up too early.
I don’t disagree that guys like Hoskins, Cozens, and Williams are ready for the big leagues. I think their performances are showcasing that they’re seeing the ball well, and are ready for the next logical step. In the same vein, I don’t disagree that Kingery could probably make the jump from AA to the majors and perform well (especially given Howie Kendrick’s performance at 2nd base), but what’s the rush?
In the case of Kingery, he barely has much playing time under his belt. He could use a little refinement and some patience. Besides making room on the 40-man roster, you’d start his contract clock a season earlier than anticipated. Is that really worth the reward of a marginally (at best) more enjoyable season with a few more (at most) meaningless wins?
I think patience is key here. I know that’s hard to stomach when the fan base has been subjected to multiple losing seasons and a season where they’re on pace to lose over 100 games, but I stand by it.
If the Phillies were in a playoff race and the addition of a power bat was a key move to get into the playoffs and compete, it would be an entirely different scenario. But the Phillies are terrible and boring, and I would (gulp) prefer it stay that way for now.
What a time to be alive.