Why the Phillies swapped out Mickey Moniak for Yairo Munoz originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Phillies brought up a hot bat before Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins.
Infielder Yairo Munoz was added to the roster and started at second base.
Munoz, 27, has big-league time with St. Louis and Boston. He was in the big-league camp with the Phillies as a non-roster player this spring.
To make room for Munoz on the 40-man roster, the Phillies transferred infielder Jean Segura (broken finger) to the 60-day injured list. To make room on the active roster, the Phils sent outfielder Mickey Moniak to Triple A.
Moniak, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, played his way onto the team in spring training and was set to start in center field on opening day. He sustained a broken right hand when he was hit by a pitch on the final day of spring training and was forced to the injured list.
Moniak, 24, was activated in late May but struggled to regain his stroke. He was 4 for 25 without an extra-base hit and had struck out 11 times when the Phils sent him out.
The Phils are right back to where they were in the first week of the season, with a center field platoon of Matt Vierling and Odubel Herrera. Vierling got the start there Tuesday night against Miami lefty Trevor Rogers.
Herrera has been more productive from the left side than Moniak. Manager Rob Thomson said there weren’t enough at-bats for Moniak and Herrera to split time. Munoz ‘right-handed bat was also attractive.
“In the next week we’re going to get four left-handed pitchers and with two left-handed-hitting center fielders it’s a little bit of a struggle to get them all at-bats,” Thomson said. “Especially with Mickey because he’s young and he hasn’t had everyday at-bats the last little bit and that’s kind of unfair to him because it shows in his at-bats.
“We just want him to go down and get his swing back, start staying on the ball, using the whole field. He was pulling off a little bit and he knows that.
“Mickey is a big part of this club. I always talk about the energy that the kids bring and he’s one of them. He always plays a good defense, always runs the bases well, always works hard. He’s a big part of this club. now and in the future and we just want to get him on track.
“It’s a little better fit for us (with Herrera and Vierling) and for Mickey as well so he could get consistent at-bats. I think he showed his true ability in spring training and we just want to get him back.”
Vierling opened the season in the majors, did not produce consistently, was sent to the minors and is now contributing almost nightly at the big-league level. In the last week, he’s had a go-ahead homer in the ninth and started a game-winning rally in the ninth. He’s also played in the infield and outfield.
“There’s a lot of value there,” Thomson said.
Munoz is also versatile. He can play the infield and outfield.
It’s not clear how long Munoz will be with the big club. Infielder Johan Camargo, on the IL with a right knee strain, went through a full-speed workout before Tuesday’s game and could be ready to return soon.
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