Six games into the season, Alec Bohm has started twice and gotten a total of nine plate appearances.
Not ideal for a still-developing player.
The Phillies knew there would be challenges to carrying Bohm and rookie Bryson Stott. Both were first-round picks. Both must play to continue improving. But the early matchups — five right-handed starting pitchers, including Mets ace Max Scherzer on Wednesday — favored lefty-hitting Stott over Bohm, who bats from the right side.
“We’re doing what we think is important for them to continue to grow as players,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re in a string of right-handers, which makes it a little bit tougher, but we’ll continue to get them both at-bats whenever we can.”
Bohm entered Wednesday’s game in the sixth inning after Jean Segura got hit by a pitch on the left forearm. Interestingly, Bohm played first base, with Johan Camargo moving over to third. Bohm made three errors at third base Monday night.
“It’s just a choice that I made,” Girardi said. “Sometimes it’s best to put a player right back in the situation, and sometimes it’s good to get him a little time and let him work. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Regardless of the position, it doesn’t figure to get easier for Bohm to crack the lineup this week. The Phillies are scheduled to face three Marlins righties in the four-game series in Miami that begins Thursday night.
Girardi noted that Bohm is “swinging the bat extremely well.” He lined a sacrifice fly to center field in the seventh inning Wednesday and is 3-for-5 with two doubles, three walks, and no strikeouts overall.
And Girardi maintains there will be suitable playing time for Bohm and Stott early in the season because the Phillies want to build in rest for several everyday players after the short spring training. Stott played shortstop last Sunday in place of Didi Gregorius and filled in at second base Tuesday night for Segura, who said he believes he will be ready to play Thursday night in Miami.
But what about a month from now, when everyone figures to be up to speed? Barring an injury, will it be more difficult to keep both Bohm and Stott in the big leagues?
“Maybe,” Girardi said. “Maybe. But it could depend on what we’re running into in rotations, too.”
The Phillies optioned reliever Connor Brogdon to triple A after he allowed two runs on two hits, including a Pete Alonso homer in Wednesday’s 9-6 loss to the Mets. Recently acquired right-hander James Norwood will be reinstated from the bereavement list to take Brogdon’s spot.
Brogdon is expected to be a key piece of the bullpen. But his fastball velocity dipped in spring training and averaged 94 mph in his first two appearances of the season, down from 96 mph last year.
The Phillies also optioned lefty reliever Damon Jones to triple A after he gave up two runs on one hit and one walk against the Mets. They intend to add a pitcher to the roster Thursday.
Injured reliever Sam Coonrod (right shoulder strain) increased his long-tossing to 90 feet but remains several weeks away from returning. ... Kyle Gibson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start the opener in Miami at 6:40 p.m. Thursday against Marlins ace right-hander Sandy Alcantara (0-0, 3.60 ERA).