SAN FRANCISCO — The Phillies activated outfielder Jay Bruce from the injured list and he was in the starting lineup — playing left field and batting fifth — for Thursday night’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants.
To make room for Bruce on the 25-man roster, the Phils sent one of their hottest hitters — outfielder Adam Haseley — to Triple A.
Haseley hit .350 with a .381 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage over his last 11 games and he had five hits, including two doubles, while starting the first three games on this road trip. That made him a very interesting subtraction.
Manager Gabe Kapler said the decision to send Haseley out was influenced by a crowded outfield and a desire to see the 23-year-old former first-round draft pick continue to rack up playing time.
“It’s for Haseley’s development,” Kapler said. “Adam really needs to play. He needs to continue his development so the thought process was, ‘Go down and get your reps and it won’t be long before you are back here playing every day for the Phillies.’"
Haseley will be back when the Triple A season ends on Sept. 2 — or sooner if there’s an injury on the big-league roster.
In sending out the lefty-hitting Haseley, the Phillies kept veterans Sean Rodriguez and Brad Miller on their bench. Both can play infield and outfield. The righty-hitting Rodriguez took a .229 batting average into a start at third base Thursday night against Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner.
The recent addition of Corey Dickerson gave the Phillies more outfield depth. Dickerson is a good bat and the Phillies did not get him to sit, though he did not start against the lefty Thursday night.
“If you look at the landscape with Dickerson, Bruce, Roman Quinn playing better, Bryce (Harper) and Sean Rodriguez’s ability to play out there, you have a lot of outfielders,” said Kapler, further explaining the decision on Haseley.
Quinn started in center field Thursday night. He was flanked by Bruce in left and Harper in right. Bruce was just 3 for 21 with a homer lifetime against Bumgarner but he got the start, “Because he’s just a really good baseball player and if we were going to make a decision to activate him, we were going to put him in the lineup,” Kapler said.
The Phillies’ offense has been inconsistent all season. There will be times in this stretch drive when the team sacrifices some defense and uses Bruce in left and Dickerson in center against right-handed pitching.
“It’s not Quinn and Haseley, we understand that,” Kapler said. “We’ll do everything we can do to put them in position to succeed out there.”
Catcher J.T. Realmuto was not in Thursday night’s starting lineup. Andrew Knapp was paired with Aaron Nola. Realmuto will start the next three days.
“We got in late last night and after the long travel, we want to get J.T. some recovery to keep him fresh and ready,” Kapler said.
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