CINCINNATI — The Phillies will add some speed and potential electricity to their bench by calling up switch-hitting outfielder Roman Quinn in time for Friday night’s game against the Reds, according to sources.
Quinn will replace left-hander Ranger Suarez, who was sent back to Triple A after notching a victory in his big-league debut Thursday night. Suarez gave up four runs over five-plus innings and was backed by seven home runs as the Phillies tied a team record to improve to 14 games over .500 and go 2 ½ games up in the NL East.
Quinn, 25, was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2011 and someone who drew early comparisons to Jimmy Rollins. He played shortstop and center field as a youngster and has played both in the Phillies’ system. He has primarily played in the outfield since the middle of the 2014 season.
Quinn’s calling card is top-of-the-scale speed. It makes him dangerous on the bases and in the outfield and could make him a weapon off the bench for manager Gabe Kapler, provided he can stay healthy. Quinn’s career has been marked by one injury after another. He has missed time over the years with a torn Achilles tendon, a torn left quadriceps, a concussion, a strained elbow ligament and a torn ligament in his right middle finger, which required surgery in May. Quinn returned to action in the minors earlier this month and is completely healthy.
Quinn has been a standout in big-league spring training camp the last two years. The team considered carrying him as an extra man on the opening day roster this season, but sent him back to Triple A to play every day. Quinn spent some time in the majors in September 2016. He had 15 hits in 57 at-bats (.263) and recorded a .373 on-base percentage. In one memorable play, Quinn threw out a runner at home plate from center field. The throw registered 96 mph to the plate on MLB’s Statcast. The guy has some tools. It's time to see how they play off the Phillies' bench.
Even as Quinn comes to the majors, the Phillies' front office is trying to make a trade to improve the roster for the stretch drive. The team could still add a reliever and a bat that could possibly get some time at shortstop or in the outfield.