The Phillies are set to activate utilityman Scott Kingery from the 10-day injured list, Matt Gelb of The Athletic tweets. The club has confirmed Kingery’s activation, adding that it has optioned outfielder Nick Williams to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The Phillies have been without Kingery since he landed on the IL on April 19 with a right hamstring strain. Before that, Kingery looked to be establishing himself in the majors after a rough rookie season in 2018. Along with slashing .406/.457/.719 (208 wRC+) with two home runs in 35 big league plate appearances, the versatile Kingery has seen action at shortstop, third base, second base and in left field this year. He’ll add another position on Sunday – center field – Gelb reports.
The Phillies have gotten next to nothing from center fielder Odubel Herrera or third baseman Maikel Franco this year, so Kingery could potentially see plenty of time at those spots as the season progresses. Despite the struggles of those two starters, the Phillies are 26-19 and leading the National League East by a game and a half over the Braves.
Williams, 25, hasn’t played in the minors since 2017, making his trip to Lehigh Valley particularly notable. Since Williams’ midseason promotion to the majors two years ago, the former top 100 prospect has amassed 856 PA and offered roughly league-average offense (.262/.322/.431 with 30 home runs – good for a 101 wRC+). However, Williams has struggled in the outfield, as shown by his minus-30 Defensive Runs Saved and minus-12 Ultimate Zone Rating, thereby limiting him to replacement-level value. He’s also hitting at a career-worst level this year, with a .180/.231/.262 line (33 wRC+), a single homer and 18 strikeouts against two walks in 65 tries.
Because Williams hasn’t quite panned out since the Phillies acquired him from the Rangers as part of a 2015 trade for Cole Hamels, Philly made other corner outfield arrangements this past offseason. They brought in high-priced free agents Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen to take over for Williams and Aaron Altherr, the latter of whom joined the Giants via waivers last weekend after the Phillies designated him for assignment.