Phillies Rumor: Club Still Searching for Left-Handed Bat

BY Fansided and George Stockburger/FanSided via That Balls Outta Here • December 16, 2016

Phillies executive hints at more moves being made to bolster the bench

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak had an unsurprisingly quiet time during the winter meetings last week. While other executives where wheeling and dealing, Klentak stayed true to the plan designed to rebuild the Phillies back into championship contenders.

While Klentak has made moves such as acquire Howie Kendrick, extend Odubel Herrera’s contract, re-sign Andres Blanco, and sign Daniel Nava, more moves could be on the way.

In an interview with 97.3 ESPN, Phillies Assistant GM Scott Proefrock stated the team is looking to add a left-handed hitter who can play both first base and the corner outfield positions on a platoon basis.

“There’s still the possibility we another bat to the lineup.  I think Tommy Joseph did a fine job for us last year…he’s going to get regular playing time.  But there may be an opportunity for a left-handed bat to come in and play some first base and play some corner outfield to give us a little bit more left-handed platoon opportunities with the club and still be able to provide the at bats for the young players to show whether they are part of the future or not.”

“We’re still looking for probably for somebody from the left side who can play the corner outfield and first base.”

Proefrock was fairly specific when describing what kind of player the Phillies were looking for, helping us narrow down the list of potential free agent candidates.

Five players fit the bill as a lefty who can play first and the corner outfield positions: Adam Lind, Logan Morrison, Brandon Moss, Chris Coghlan, and Ryan Raburn.

Lind played first for nearly the entire season in Seattle, hitting 20 home runs with a .239 batting average. The batting average has wavered dramatically for Lind over his 11 years in professional baseball. Two seasons ago he hit .321 in Toronto, and .305 with Toronto in 2009.

Lind has played over 500 games at first base, and more than 200 in left field.

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Morrison has experience playing against the Phillies, considering his first four seasons were with the Marlins. Like Lind, Morrison brings pop, but lacks an advanced approach when it comes to his approach at the plate. More than two-thirds of his games have come at first, while starts in left and right field have come in bunches.

In 23 games playing inside Citizens Bank Park Morrison has 21 hits, four of which were home runs.

Another former fish fits what the Phillies could be looking for, that being Chris Coghlan. The 2009 Rookie of the Year for the Marlins has been a shell of his outstanding .321 rookie batting average. Last year he hit just .188 between the Cubs and Athletics. Coghlan is most-likely lower down the list of potential candidates, with only 11 games at first on his resume.

Ryan Raburn is another name on the lower-third of the list of potential candidates, being 36-years-old and hitting only .220 with nine home runs for Detroit. Like Lind however, Raburn’s batting average has finished above .300 several times throughout his career.

The fifth and final name sounds the most likely, and would be a homecoming of sorts. Brandon Moss played five games for the Phillies in 2011, and lost the opportunity to play everyday to the likes of John Mayberry Jr. Since leaving Philadelphia, Moss has earned an all-star bid, and has hit no-less than 19 home runs in each season.

Among those five names, Moss would be my top pick, with Lind and Morrison each getting strong consideration. Either three could give Tommy Joseph a day off at first base, compete with Roman Quinn/Aaron Altherr for the right field job, and bring power off the bench.

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