PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies promised to play Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott regularly when both made the Opening Day roster.
They said they would not jeopardize the development of either player by letting one sit and rot on the bench.
The Phillies on Monday optioned Stott to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to play every day. Stott is the organization’s No. 1 prospect and the No. 44 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. But he had not started since April 18 in Colorado. He had not played since a pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth inning on Tuesday at Coors Field.
He was hitless in his last 18 at-bats.
Bohm, meanwhile, seized the everyday job at third base, and Johan Camargo entrenched himself at shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovered from a bruised left hand. Gregorius has been cleared to play, giving the Phillies an opportunity to make this move.
“We knew that there was going to be a balancing act with development and Major League wins,” Phillies general manager Sam Fuld said. “It’s a really difficult juggling act. I don’t know if there’s a right answer. There is a lot of development that happens just by being around the best players in the world, even if you’re getting 40 percent of the reps here that you would in Triple-A. There’s value in being around the best in the world.
“We just felt like at this point it was a good opportunity to get Stott to Lehigh, get back into a routine, get regular reps and continue his development. But it was all contingent on Didi’s readiness, and we got that green light this afternoon.”
The Phillies selected the contract of outfielder Roman Quinn to take Stott’s place on the 28-man roster. To make room for Quinn on the 40-man roster, they placed left-hander Ryan Sherriff on the 60-day injured list.
“To Didi’s and Camargo’s and Bohm’s credit, they’ve all created this good problem to have,” Fuld said. “They’ve performed well. We knew that we could live out a situation like this one. It’s why you just continually monitor it and again juggle those two criteria. We felt like this was the time to do it. But obviously this doesn’t happen without Bohm, Camargo and Didi’s performance.”
Fuld said the majority of Stott’s time at Triple-A will be spent at shortstop, although he will continue to see some time at third and second.
Fuld was asked if there was any regret in carrying both Bohm and Stott to the start the season.
“There’s always learning experiences,” Fuld said. “A lot of the game’s great players will tell you that their first bout of adversity at the Major Leagues was a positive learning experience when all is said and done. You never want that. You never root for that, but I think this brief look at the Major Leagues, this brief bout with some struggles, I think will be beneficial in the long term for Bryson. Clearly, [he] earned his spot on the team given his performance of last year and Spring Training. So we don’t have any regrets and we knew this outcome was a possibility.”
Quinn, whom the Phillies drafted in 2011, rejoined the organization after being granted his release from the Marlins at the end of Spring Training. He spent the first five seasons of his career with Philadelphia. He ruptured his left Achilles in a May 2021 game in Tampa Bay, ending his season.
“We’ve all seen the ability to impact the game that Roman has,” Fuld said. “One, he’s shown that he’s healthy and back to the elite athlete that he was coming off this injury. We have as much confidence that he can impact the game with his legs in the same capacity as previous years. If it’s pinch-run, if it’s defensive replacement, it’s obviously a versatile bat with his switch-hitting. Just a lot of ways that he can impact us, especially late in games. And with the DH spot you just get a little more flexibility to use a guy with Roman’s unique skill set.”