As Bryson Stott finished taking infield practice Monday, manager Joe Girardi met him on the top step of the Phillies’ dugout and called him into his office.

What happened next felt almost inevitable.

Stott had barely played for a week, even though the shortstop who is ahead of him on the Phillies’ depth chart was injured. He wasn’t in the lineup again Monday night, either. And as the top positional prospect in the organization, he needs to play.

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In short, the Phillies’ grand experiment of keeping Stott and young third baseman Alec Bohm on the roster simultaneously had run its course. Stott was getting optioned to triple A.

“We knew,” general manager Sam Fuld said, “that we could live out a situation like this.”

It isn’t ideal. But neither was the arrangement when the Phillies put Stott and Bohm on an opening-day roster that already included veteran shortstop Didi Gregorius and versatile infielder Johan Camargo. Girardi said he could find at-bats for four players in two spots, but that turned out to be pie in the sky.

The Phillies weighed the options. They tried to rationalize keeping Stott in the majors. But after he went hitless in 18 at-bats, ceded playing time to Bohm and Camargo, and got one plate appearance in the last five games, it made sense to send him to Lehigh Valley and call up fleet, switch-hitting outfielder Roman Quinn, who may help while Bryce Harper (strained right elbow) can’t play right field.

“We knew there was going to be a balancing act in development and major-league wins,” Fuld said. “Even if you’re getting 40% of the reps here that you would in triple A, there’s value in being around the best in the world and seeing how they prepare and how they do it. What that trade-off is, it’s not a perfect science.

“Just felt like, at this point, this was a good opportunity to get Stott to Lehigh, get back into a routine, get regular reps, and continue his development.”

A week ago, it seemed like Bohm may have been the odd-infielder out. Stott made the team after a solid spring training. He was the opening-day third baseman and started eight of the first 11 games, in part because the Phillies faced a run of right-handed starting pitchers (Stott bats left-handed) but also because he had four hits in his first 12 major-league at-bats.

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But the tables turned when Stott’s skid at the plate coincided with Bohm’s surge in production. Bohm also received praise within the clubhouse and from Girardi for his handling of a three-error game April 11 against the New York Mets and the fallout from being caught on camera cursing the city after getting a derisive cheer for making a routine play.

“I’m extremely proud of what he’s done and the work that he’s put in with [infield coach] Bobby [Dickerson],” Girardi said last week. “He had a tough day, a really tough day, and the kid has responded great. He looks really good.”

At the same time, Camargo has played well in place of Gregorius, who got hit by a fastball on the left hand April 19 in Colorado. Girardi stuck with his hottest hands in Bohm and Camargo. When Stott didn’t play Friday night or Saturday against a pair of Milwaukee Brewers right-handers, it seemed his fate was sealed.

The Phillies only needed to know that Gregorius was ready to play. Once he took batting practice Monday, it was a done deal.

“He’s a professional. He understands it,” Fuld said of Stott. “Nobody wants to be sent out. But I know he’s excited to get regular reps in Lehigh.”

Stott, 24, completed his first stint in the majors having gone 4-for-30 with 10 strikeouts. He started games at third base, second base, and his natural shortstop. Fuld said he will play primarily shortstop in Lehigh Valley.

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Carrying Bohm and Stott was always going to require circus-level juggling from Girardi. But Girardi figured it could work early in the season because he wanted to build in additional recovery time for most players after a spring training that lasted three weeks.

Bohm and Stott, first-round draft picks one year apart, started one game together on the left side of the infield last Monday night in Colorado. It represented a rare triumph for the Phillies’ scouting and player-development staffs and perhaps a glimpse at the future.

But in 2022, the Bohm-Stott tandem always seemed to have an expiration date unless someone got injured — and, as it turned out, even after Gregorius did. Naturally, the Phillies will be asked if they regret trying to force it now.

“A lot of the game’s great players will tell you that their first bout of adversity in the major leagues was a positive learning experience,” Fuld said. “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 will be beneficial in the long-term for Bryson.

“He clearly earned his spot on the team given the performance of last year and the spring training, so I don’t think we have any regrets. We knew that this outcome was a possibility.”