SAN DIEGO — Alec Bohm’s struggles this season at third and first base have done little to quiet the concerns ever since he was drafted about his ability to play the infield. But the Phillies -- after sending him Sunday to triple A -- are not yet ready to close the door on Bohm’s future at third base.
“I’ve heard the concept and the thought, but that’s not something we’re looking to do in the very near future,” general manager Sam Fuld said about trying Bohm in the outfield.
Bohm has graded this season as one of baseball’s worst defenders at third base, where he’s made 15 errors in 101 games. He spent time this month at first base while Rhys Hoskins was on the injured list and the results were not much better.
He’s never played the outfield, but it could be worth a shot as the Phillies likely do not have next year’s starting left fielder or center fielder on the roster. Andrew McCutchen is a free agent after the season and none of the rotation center-field options seem like long-term fits. Playing Bohm in left field could become an option, but it’s not yet on the table.
“He works as hard as anyone on our club, especially on the defensive side,” Fuld said. “I think he’s made some real tangible improvements on the defensive side. Sometimes what we’ve seen is a couple at-bats might dictate the performance out on the field and vice versa. I think that was another message that is really important. Every player goes through it. Every player has a tendency to play with confidence on both sides of the ball if one is working. He’s no different than anyone else.”
Eflin ready soon?
The Phillies have not yet decided what’s next for Zach Eflin after Saturday’s rehab appearance, but there’s a chance that he could rejoin the rotation later this week without pitching a second minor-league game.
“We probably wouldn’t rule that out at this point,” Fuld said. “We just need to talk through it. Obviously, he’s not stretched out to a point where he could go significant volume, but it’s really helpful when he’s toeing the rubber and sometimes you sacrifice volume and length for quality. When he’s healthy, he’s quality.”
Coonrod and Galvis, too
Sam Coonrod and Freddy Galvis rehabbed Sunday with triple-A Lehigh Valley and could join the team as early as Tuesday. Galvis (hamstring) has been on the injured list since the Phillies traded for him at the deadline and Sunday was his fifth minor-league rehab game. Coonrod (elbow) has made five rehab appearances and Sunday’s four-out outing was the reliever’s longest.
“It’s been a really interesting rehab for him as he’s thrown 14 total pitches over his last two outings,” Fuld said before Coonrod threw 24 pitches on Sunday. “It’s a sign of efficiency that we generally like to see, but he also hasn’t had the opportunity to stretch himself, no fault of his own.”
Seranthony Dominguez continues to rehab in the minor leagues and remains on track for a possible return in September. ... The Phillies are off Monday before opening a two-game series on Tuesday with Tampa Bay in South Philly. Ranger Suarez will start Tuesday against right-hander Drew Rasmussen before Zack Wheeler starts on Wednesday.