The Phillies have played so well lately offensively and defensively that the absence of Adam Haseley, an important young player and their first-round pick three summers ago, has flown under the radar.
Haseley returned from the injured list on August 22 after missing 10 days with a wrist injury but has started only three of 12 games for the Phillies. He's not in the doghouse, it's not punitive, it's just a numbers game. Can't play everyone.
Roman Quinn has been productive lately. He had the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning Friday night. Last Sunday, Quinn's outfield assist with two outs in the ninth inning won the Phillies a game in Atlanta. In mid-August, he scored the winning run at the plate with a perfect slide on a groundball to shortstop with the infield in.
"We've liked what Roman's done," Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Friday. "We like what Hase has done, but we like that speed element that Roman brings, the disruption that he has been able to cause. You're gonna still see them both, that's the bottom line. Hase needs to play too because we think he's a really good player. And Roman, we need to be strategic about his days off. He's on his feet a lot. It's just tough because you've got two guys and you could play 'em both."
With three doubleheaders next week, Haseley should see at least three starts. Haseley is 8 for 30 this season, hitting .296 with three doubles. Half of those hits came in his first start of the season, when he went 4-for-6 with two doubles in the leadoff spot for the Phillies in the opening series.
Another factor has been the mound opponents. Since Haseley returned on August 22, the Phillies have faced a left-handed starting pitcher in five of 12 games: Patrick Corbin twice, Robbie Erlin twice and Tommy Milone. Corbin is a tough lefty, but the other two should be hittable for Haseley. At some point, the Phillies need to give Haseley a chance to show whether or not he can hit lefties at this level. He held his own against them in the minors but has just 54 ABs against them in the majors.
Haseley might have seen some more playing time the last two weeks if Andrew McCutchen wasn't so locked in at the plate. McCutchen, ever after a three-strikeout game Friday, has hit .320 in his last 75 at-bats following a slow start to the season.
The return of Jay Bruce earlier this week occupied another lineup spot.
On Friday night with Bryce Harper getting a rare night off, Girardi went with Phil Gosselin in right field. It worked, with Gosselin scoring the go-ahead run after a seventh-inning double. Haseley came on as a defensive replacement for Gosselin and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in an important insurance run in a 5-3 Phillies win.