It’s another lost season for Scott Kingery. The Phillies’ 27-year-old infielder/outfielder will miss the rest of 2021 after undergoing shoulder surgery.
“Unfortunately for Scott, he just recently had shoulder surgery, some labral stuff, and that’s keeping him out the rest of the season,” Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Sunday on an episode of the Takeoff With John Clark podcast. “He’ll be ready to go for next year.”
Kingery played in 15 games with the Phillies this season and went 1 for 19 with 12 strikeouts. It’s the second straight year he’s barely played and struggled when he did. Last summer, he had a rough bout of COVID that limited him to 113 mostly unproductive plate appearances. He has hit .144 with a .204 on-base percentage across those two seasons.
“I wasn’t here when all that happened so I can only give you by hearsay that he did make some adjustments working with an individual to change his swing path to more of an uppercut type swing. He got himself into some bad habits, striking out a bit more,” Dombrowski said.
“We tried to change that this year and he started making some adjustments in spring training and going down to Triple A. He was working on those adjustments (before the shoulder injury).”
There are two guaranteed years left on the six-year, $24 million contract Kingery signed with the Phillies in 2018 prior to ever playing in a major-league game. He is due $6 million in 2022 and $8 million in 2023. When the Phils signed him to that deal, he was an ascending, dynamic prospect who’d turned heads in spring training. Matt Klentak, Gabe Kapler and the Phillies thought they had a top-of-the-order catalyst and plus defensive second baseman. It hasn’t materialized. Some have attributed it to the constant shuffling of positions with Kingery but he is far from the first young player to play multiple spots, and part of his value in the first place was that versatility.
Kingery was outrighted off of the Phillies’ 40-man roster on June 7 after passing through waivers unclaimed. He’ll try next spring training to play his way back into a role.