Here’s the latest from Phillies GM Matt Klentak, via Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
- Klentak says he sees Ryan Howard staying with the team for the rest of the season, even after losing his first base job to Tommy Joseph. The team does not plan to release Howard. “Ryan has handled it like a true professional,” Klentak says. “I don’t view it as a distraction at all.” Howard has hit just .148/.248/.352 in the last guaranteed year of his contract, although Klentak notes that Howard’s home-run power makes him a threat off the bench. The slugger has ten blasts this season.
- Klentak was reluctant to divulge details, but noted that the Phillies could complete the signings of key draft picks in the next week. First overall pick Mickey Moniak remains unsigned, as does their second-round pick, California high school righty Kevin Gowdy.
- The team is not yet ready to promote outfield prospect Dylan Cozens to Triple-A, Klentak says. MLB.com currently ranks Cozens as only the 22nd-best prospect in the Phillies system, but he’s having a tremendous season with Double-A Reading, batting .289/.366/.586 with 19 home runs. (The Phillies would probably like to have him cut down his strikeouts, however — he has 85 in 290 plate appearances so far.) “[F]or most of these guys we want to give them, if we can, a full year’s worth of at-bats at certain levels and I think Dylan could stand to have some more time there,” Klentak says.
- Klentak adds that he expects another outfield prospect, Roman Quinn, to miss significant time with an oblique strain. “I don’t want to put a timetable on [his absence],” says Klentak. “But it’s going to be a while.” The 23-year-old Quinn, currently ranked the Phillies’ seventh-best prospect, is batting .288/.361/.420 for Reading.