It has been a recurring theme lately. When the opposing team brings in a lefty, the Phillies take out Adam Haseley.
Haseley was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning Sunday against New York Mets lefty reliever Luis Avilan. It happened in the eighth inning Monday night when the Atlanta Braves called on lefty reliever Sean Newcomb. Haseley wasn't in the lineup at all Tuesday night against Braves lefty starter Max Fried.
"He has historically hit left-handed pitching, but we are trying to kind of ease him into this role with some sensitivity and try to set up Hase for success," manager Gabe Kapler said. "One of the ways to do that is to try to look for the matchups that might be especially difficult and give him a break in those matchups."
Haseley, a left-handed hitter, actually had reverse splits earlier this season at double-A Reading, albeit in a limited sample size. He batted .316 with a .942 on-base plus slugging percentage in 57 at-bats against lefties compared to .241 with a .783 OPS in 108 at-bats against righties. He also has three hits and a walk in his last seven plate appearances against lefties at the big-league level.
But Kapler believed the better matchup against Fried was to put righty-hitting Sean Rodriguez at third base and Scott Kingery in center field.
It's part of the balance of competing for a wild-card spot and furthering a young player's development. Kapler drew a parallel to last season when he pinch-hit for Kingery in the second inning of a Sept. 15 game against Miami.
“Kap has made it real clear to me that, if it was a different scenario, then yeah, some of those at-bats I’d be out there facing a lefty or whatever it may be,” said Haseley, who is batting .261 with four homers and a .714 OPS in 49 major-league games. “But these last three weeks we’re trying to make a push. Personally, I am completely fine with the best nine guys that need to be out there if it’s a lefty or whoever is starting. I don’t take it personally.