Phillies

Why the Phillies sent one of their hottest hitters Adam Haseley to Triple A

Why the Phillies sent one of their hottest hitters Adam Haseley to Triple A

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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Phillies Talk podcast: Opinions on Bryce Harper after a year in Phillies pinstripes

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Phillies Talk podcast: Opinions on Bryce Harper after a year in Phillies pinstripes

Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman got together for a lil' Phillies Talk on the one-year anniversary of the Bryce Harper signing. Aside from their opinions and big-picture takeaways from Harper's first year with the Phillies, the guys discussed Zack Wheeler's imminent debut, Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen.

• Zack Wheeler debuts Saturday — what are we looking for?

• Some Phillies hitters thrilled to not have to face Wheeler anymore.

• Why so much Jean Segura at 3B early in camp?

• Defensive upgrades in the infield.

• Where is Andrew McCutchen? How does the knee look?

• Recalling the buzz in Phillies camp when Harper signed.

• The overlooked aspect of Harper's first season in Philly.

• How many Phillies records can Harper set?

• Honesty from J.T. Realmuto about Phillies pitchers, coaching changes and disrespect from the outside.

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A way-too-early look at how high Bryce Harper could climb on Phillies all-time leaderboards

A way-too-early look at how high Bryce Harper could climb on Phillies all-time leaderboards

Can you believe it’s been a year since the Phillies signed Bryce Harper?

In most years, the final day of February will be the anniversary. Not 2020 because it’s a leap year, but here we are on Feb. 28, some 365 days after the afternoon splash that left Phillies fans delirious for months. 

Harper had a strong first year with the Phils. An overlooked component of it was his durability. He played in 157 games, the second most of his career. The Phillies will need him to be on the field that much to reach their ultimate destination. Perhaps at some point during his contract the rest of the roster will be good enough to contend even if he’s at less than 100%, but that time isn’t now.

Days left

Today marks 365 days down and 4,268 to go in Harper’s Phillies contract.

That 4,268 figure could be off by a few days but you get the point. It assumes the 2031 World Series ends on Halloween.

Dingers

Harper enters 2020 with 219 career home runs — averages of 27 per season and 33 per 162 games.

If he averages just over 35 home runs for the next eight seasons, he would hit his 500th home run toward the end of the 2027 season. Factoring in future time missed to injury and the fact that so far, he’s exceeded 35 only in his 2015 MVP season, 2028 is more realistic. Maybe even 2029.

Schmidt more than safe

Harper could hit 35 homers every year for all 13 years with the Phillies and still be 93 shy of Mike Schmidt.

Harper does have a decent chance to reach second on the Phillies’ all-time list. Ryan Howard occupies that spot with 382. Harper would need to average 29 longballs a year over the next dozen to surpass The Big Piece.

Schmidt had 11 seasons of 35+ home runs. No other Phillie had five. Harper is a safe bet to do so. 

Howard had four, Chuck Klein three, and Greg Luzinski and Jim Thome had two. 

The only other 35-homer seasons in Phillies history belong to Harper, Jayson Werth (2009), Pat Burrell (2002), Dick Allen (1966) and Cy Williams (1923).

Schmidt averaged 68 extra-base hits and 102 walks per 162 games in his career. 

Harper has averaged 69 extra-base hits and 102 walks per 162 games in his.

Which Phillies records could Harper set?

This should show how difficult it is to set franchise records when you don’t begin your career with that franchise. The longevity of Schmidt (18 seasons) and Jimmy Rollins (15) will make it difficult for Harper to reach higher than second in several categories. 

Harper would need to average just over 117 walks per season to break Schmidt’s mark. Highly unlikely.

Doubles? Harper hit 36 in 2019. He would need to average 37 a year over the next 12 to break Jimmy Rollins’ mark of 479. 

He’d need 180 hits per season to surpass Rollins. 

Sifting through careers, the best chance at a big offensive Phillies record for Harper would be seasons with 100+ RBI. He had 114 last year. Schmidt had the most seasons in Phillies history of at least 100 RBI with nine. Can Harper do it nine more times in 12 years?

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