August 08, 2019
Jay Bruce, who had 10 home runs and 29 RBI in 33 games for the Phillies before landing on the injured list with a strained oblique, is back with the team after he was reinstated on Thursday evening. In order to make room for Bruce on the roster, the Phillies optioned Adam Haseley to triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Bruce, who went on a tear after being acquired by the Phillies via trade earlier this season, hasn't played since July 16 after suffering that oblique strain against the Dodgers. In the five games prior to his injury, Bruce was 0-for-14 and say his average drop to .256 since he joined the Phillies — prior to that cold streak, Bruce was hitting .291 in a Phillies uniform.
Needless to say, his power will be a welcomed return as he's scheduled to bat fifth when the Phillies open their four-game series in San Francisco on Thursday night.
One player who won't be joining the team in San Francisco is outfielder Haseley, and his demotion comes as somewhat of a surprise. Sure, the Phillies just added Corey Dickerson prior to the trade deadline — and he obviously fills one of those outfield spots alongside Bryce Harper — but the fact that the Phillies demoted Haseley is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Haseley is batting .274 since first being called up in late May, but has been much better as of late. In his first 44 at-bats, the Phillies rookie was just hitting just .205, but in last 40 at-bats, Haseley is batting .350, including the first back-to-back multi-hit games of his career.
The reason for sending Haseley down over some of the Phillies other outfielders, however, seems to make sense.
Kapler on decision to option Haseley: “Adam Haseley really needs to play. He needs to continue his development.” With logjam of OFers (Bruce, Dickerson, Quinn, obviously Harper, Rodriguez can play out there), #Phillies didn’t think there would be enough ABs here.— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) August 8, 2019
Additionally, Haseley has a few minor-league options left. Some of the other players the Phillies could've sent down, like Roman Quinn or Sean Rodriguez, are out of options, meaning they would've had to clear waivers before heading to Lehigh Valley.
Although it's never great to see a top prospect get sent back down, Haseley was forced into action much earlier than expected with Andrew McCutchen tearing his ACL and Odubel Herrera being suspended for the remainder of the season. So if you want to take the glass-half-full approach here, it's this: Haseley got nearly 90 plate appearances at the major league level and looks like the kind of player that has a future with the Phillies.
Those first at-bats were going to come at some point, and now he's already got that experience under his belt for the next time he gets called up, because there will be a next time.
The September 1st call-ups are right around the corner...
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