If it wasn’t clear enough from seeing him start in his first two games in the majors, Pete Mackanin was very clear about the plans for Roman Quinn over the final three weeks of another losing season.
“He’s going to play a lot,” Mackanin said Monday night.
Quinn, who was called up over the weekend from Double A Reading, went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs in his home debut.
“Being home in Philly after being drafted here, it’s incredible,” Quinn said. “It’s an incredible feeling.”
Quinn, a second-round pick in the 2011 draft, picked up his first hits and his first stolen base Monday night. He also drew a walk. For the second straight game, he batted second in the order behind Cesar Hernandez.
The only difference Monday, other than the location of the game, was that he moved to right field after playing Sunday in center. Mackanin reiterated Monday afternoon that Odubel Herrera, the All-Star who’s having a mediocre second half, is the team’s centerfielder (see story).
Quinn will get work in the corner outfield spots. Mackanin said Quinn, along with Jorge Alfaro, will be able to make statements for themselves for their futures in the organization.
A home run from Freddy Galvis — his 18th of the season — and an RBI double off the bat of Cody Asche gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning against Gerrit Cole, the Pittsburgh ace who made his return from the disabled list (elbow).
Cole then lost control and walked starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson — who earned the win with 6⅓ innings of one-run baseball — and Hernandez to load the bases for Quinn, who hit a two-run double into the corner in left field for his first career hit.
“It’s always good getting that first one out of the way,” Quinn said. “It felt great.”
Quinn’s first steal came in the first inning after he drew a walk. He stole 31 bases at Reading this season.
“It’s nice having that speed up front,” Mackanin said.
In the sixth inning, Quinn nearly hit his first career home run, blasting a 3-1 fastball from Antonio Bastardo off the wall in center.
For a guy listed at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, Quinn has some deceptive pop. He had six home runs and a .441 slugging percentage with Reading.
Mackanin recalled a time Quinn’s pop stood out during spring training.
“We were playing in Tampa against the Yankees and he hit one to dead center field,” Mackanin said. “It shocked everybody. He does have some pop. He hit that ball over the leftfielder's head and I thought for sure that ball was going out to center field. It’s nice to see.”
It’s nice for Quinn that he’s even here. After a hip flexor tear cost him time in 2015, an oblique issue had him out over a month into late July this year.
“I strained my oblique in June and didn’t think I was going to get a call-up at all,” Quinn said. “And hopefully it ends up working out for the best.
“I just had good people around me. My parents helped me a lot and my fiancé helped me a lot, too. They helped me keep my confidence and they encouraged me a lot.”
His fiancé, Jeni McLemore, is already in town. His parents will be here in the next couple of days.
That’s the now.
Where they watch him play next year is still to be decided.