Corey Dickerson

Phillies free-agent target: Corey Dickerson

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Phillies free-agent target: Corey Dickerson

Leading up to baseball’s winter meetings, we will take a daily look at some of the game’s top free agents and how they could potentially impact the Phillies.

Today, we check in on outfielder Corey Dickerson, who made a positive impact in a brief stay with the Phillies in 2019.

The vitals

The Phillies were criticized for not doing enough to upgrade their pitching at last summer’s trade deadline, but they did make a difference-making lineup acquisition when they acquired Dickerson in a cash deal from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dickerson played in 34 games for the Phillies and belted eight homers and drove in 34 runs. He suffered a broken foot in September and the Phillies really missed his bat down the stretch.

The lefty-swinging Dickerson turns 31 in May. He is one of those proverbial “professional hitters.”  He sports a career batting average of .286 and an OPS of .832. He’s made an All-Star team, won a Gold Glove and hit .300 three times.

Why he fits

Dickerson is a high-character, team-first guy who was well liked and much respected in the Phillies’ clubhouse last season. He can hit — he crushes right-handed pitching — and his bat would be a nice addition to the roster.

Why he doesn’t fit

Dickerson proved valuable in left field for the Phillies in the second half of 2019. However, he lacks positional versatility and is limited to just the corner outfield spots. With left fielder Andrew McCutchen set to return from knee surgery and Bryce Harper locked in in right field, there really isn’t a spot for Dickerson to get regular reps. It is not clear what the Phillies will do in center field in 2020. They have a number of options. If one of them includes giving McCutchen some time there they could more seriously consider a reunion with Dickerson, but that seems to be a decision that will come down the road, after other options have been exhausted, and Dickerson could be elsewhere by then.

Jay Bruce's return further complicates a potential reunion with Dickerson. The Phillies aren’t paying Bruce much — they took on just $2.75 million of his remaining $21 million last season — and he’s also a lefty bat who plays only the corners.

The price tag

Dickerson signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Pirates last year. The first-time free agent could be looking at a two-year deal in the neighborhood of $15 million.

Scout’s take

“After Tampa Bay DFA’d him (in February 2018), he went to Pittsburgh and made some good adjustments, especially on getting to high fastballs, and that’s made him a more well-rounded hitter. He really produced in a short time in Philly, but with McCutchen and Harper there, where’s he going to play? He’s more than a bench bat. He’ll be somewhere.”

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Phillies lose hot-hitting Corey Dickerson for remainder of the season

Phillies lose hot-hitting Corey Dickerson for remainder of the season

ATLANTA – The Phillies will be without one of their hottest hitters for the final 14 games of the season.

Corey Dickerson was placed on the 60-day injured list Tuesday afternoon because of a broken left foot. He was replaced on the active roster by reliever Edubray Ramos. 

Dickerson was acquired from Pittsburgh in July and he quickly became a valuable bat for the Phillies. He drove in 34 runs in his first 33 games with the club.

Dickerson fouled a ball off his foot Sept. 4 in Cincinnati. He aggravated the injury last week and was diagnosed with a bone bruise. Subsequent tests revealed a fracture.

Dickerson is a free agent at the end of the season.

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Another loss as Phillies continue to play their way out of NL wild-card picture

Another loss as Phillies continue to play their way out of NL wild-card picture

BOX SCORE

The Phillies continued to play their way out of National League wild-card picture on Sunday. They dropped a 6-3 decision to the Boston Red Sox, who completed a two-game interleague series sweep at Citizens Bank Park.

The loss dropped the Phillies to four games out of the second wild-card spot and they could be 4 ½ games out by the end of the day, depending on the outcome of the Chicago Cubs-Pittsburgh Pirates game in Chicago.

The Phils have just 14 games left.

Christian Vazquez paced Boston’s offense with a grand slam against starter Jason Vargas in the third inning.

The Phillies did not get much offense in the two-game series. They scored just four runs. (They lost Saturday night’s game, 2-1.) They had just 12 hits and only two of them were for extra bases. (Rhys Hoskins had them both, a double Saturday night and a homer Sunday.)

Phillies hitters also struck out 25 times in the two games.

Ouch.

Vargas’ day

For the second straight start, Vargas lasted just three innings. He hit a batter, gave up a single and a one-out walk before serving up the grand slam to Vazquez in the third. Vargas also made a throwing error that led to a run in the first inning.

The left-hander is not exactly providing a lift down the stretch. He has a 7.63 ERA in his last four starts and the Phillies have lost three of those games.

Booted

Bryce Harper was ejected in the fourth inning for giving home plate umpire Gabe Morales an earful from the dugout. Moments earlier, Morales had rung up Harper on a pitch outside the strike zone. He also missed a pitch in Harper’s first at-bat. Manager Gabe Kapler was also ejected after he came out of the dugout to protest Harper’s ejection. It was believed to be the first time in major-league history that a guy named Gabe ejected another guy named Gabe.

Harper’s second ejection of the season meant the Phillies were forced to play the remainder of the game without one of their top players, never a good thing with the season on the line — at least mathematically.

Harper was replaced in right field by September call-up Jose Pirela. Not long ago, the Phillies likely would have replaced Harper with Nick Williams. But Williams is hitting .157 and is buried so deeply on the bench it makes you wonder why he was added in September.

Dickerson still sore

Corey Dickerson was out of the starting lineup for a third straight game because of a sore left foot. Brad Miller got the start in left field. The Phillies have missed Dickerson’s bat. Added at the trade deadline, he drove in 34 runs in his first 33 games with the club.

A little too hospitable

The Phillies are just 11-21 all-time against the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park.

On the bright side, the Phils are 11-20 all-time at Fenway Park.

Wait a minute. There’s nothing bright about that.

Overall

The Phillies are 76-72. They need to win six of their final 14 games to have a winning season.

Up next

The Phillies are off on Monday. They open a three-game series in Atlanta against the Braves on Tuesday night.

Pitching matchups:

Tuesday night — RHP Vince Velasquez (6-7, 4.95) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-5, 3.35)

Wednesday night — RHP Zach Eflin (8-12, 4.20) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (10-9, 3.50)

Thursday afternoon — RHP Aaron Nola (12-5, 3.62) vs. RHP Mike Soroka (12-4, 2.47)

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