Phillies

Phillies

BOX SCORE

Roman Quinn has been in the big leagues for four days and already shown all the food groups of baseball skill.
 
Speed? Check.
 
On base skills? Check.
 
Hitting? Check.
 
Power? Well, he hasn’t hit a ball in the seats yet, but half of his six hits are doubles.
 
On Wednesday night, Quinn showed off something new — his throwing arm. He helped Jake Thompson and the Phillies nail down a 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates with a fastball to the plate for the second out of the ninth inning (see Instant Replay). Catcher A.J. Ellis made a nice play to record the putout and afterward offered an appraisal of the 23-year-old centerfielder’s first four days in the majors.
 
“I’m still waiting for a tool he doesn’t have,” Ellis said. “Every game he shows off something new.
 
“That throw was almost a game-saver.”
 
Yeah, it was. Had the runner, Sean Rodriguez, scored on the play, it would have been a three-run game with one out, two runners on base and the potential tying run at the plate.
 
There was an amazing stat attached to Quinn’s throw. According to MLB.com’s Statcast, the velocity on the throw was 96 mph, the strongest by any Phillies outfielder this season.
 
“I knew he had a good arm, but that’s a pretty darn good arm,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
 
In four games since arriving from Double A, Quinn is 6 for 15 with three doubles, a bunt hit, an infield hit, two RBIs, two runs scored, three walks, a stolen base and a terrific throw.
 
Quinn had a .361 on-base percentage at Double A this season. The Phillies have the worst on-base percentage in the majors. It’s clear the club is gauging his readiness for a quick jump to the majors next season. Could it happen as soon as opening day?
 
“There’s a good chance,” Mackanin said. “He’s making a great first impression. We saw him in the spring. He had a solid year. As long as he can stay on the field and doesn’t get injured, I’d like to think he’s got a good chance.
 
“He’s an aggressive hitter. He can run. He can throw. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield.”
 
Quinn, a switch-hitter, has played all three outfield spots in four starts, but he profiles as a centerfielder. If he impresses the gang upstairs these next few weeks, Obudel Herrera could be a trade candidate this winter or move to a corner spot next season. Or Quinn could play a corner spot. Whatever the case, he might be here for good real soon.
 
Quinn is not thinking about that. He’s focused on playing the game in the here and now.
 
“One thing about me is I try to play the game hard every day, give it all I’ve got,” he said.
 
Quinn was the Phillies’ second-round draft pick in 2011. He played shortstop and center field as a youngster and started his pro career as a shortstop. He moved full-time to center field when the Phillies anointed J.P. Crawford as their shortstop of the future in June 2014. Quinn said it took about a half season to train his arm to throw from the outfield, but he’s clearly got it now.
 
“I’ve worked hard on my defense,” he said. “I just tried to get rid of it quick. The throw was up the line a little. A.J. helped me a lot.”
 
Thompson went six innings and allowed two runs. He has had four straight strong starts with his new, simplified delivery.
 
“It’s light years more repeatable,” the 22-year-old right-hander said.
 
The Phillies supported Thompson with 15 hits. Freddy Galvis and Tommy Joseph both hit their 19th homer and Cameron Rupp and Maikel Franco both had an RBI double.
 
Alas, the Phils struck out nine times. Phillies hitters are averaging 10.6 strikeouts in 13 games this month.
 
Galvis’ 19 homers — a dozen more than his career high of seven last season — have become a notable story. He has complemented the power with terrific defense at shortstop.
 
However, his on-base percentage — .269 entering the game — is the worst among qualifying hitters in the majors.
 
“He’s going to have to improve on that,” Mackanin said. “On the other hand, he provides a lot for us. You talk about making all the plays at shortstop. That’s a very important position and he fills the bill right now.”
 
While sitting on the doorstep of 20 homers, Galvis is hitting just .239.
 
“If you get 500 at-bats, you’re going to put 20 good swings on the ball,” he said. “Especially in this ballpark. You can hit home runs here.
 
“I have to do better in on-base percentage and batting average. But I think I am still helping the team.”
 
In addition to his homer, a two-run shot, Galvis was part of three double plays behind Thompson.
 
He definitely helped the Phillies win this game.
 
So did Quinn.
 
What will he do Thursday night?