The Phillies announced a few transactions before the start of their must-win series with the Braves. Third baseman Alec Bohm has been recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, while reliever Connor Brogdon is back from the 10-day injured list. Reliever Ramón Rosso and utilityman Luke Williams were optioned out to clear active roster space. Additionally, veteran outfielder Matt Joyce, who had been designated for assignment over the weekend, has been released.
Bohm is back with the big league club after being optioned a little more than a month ago. That came amidst a very disappointing sophomore season, in which last year’s NL Rookie of the Year runner-up slumped to a .245/.302/.342 line with subpar defensive ratings. Both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference have pegged Bohm as below replacement-level this season, a surprising drop after the 25-year-old hit .338/.400/.481 through his 180 plate appearances last year.
Since being demoted, Bohm has bounced back a bit at the plate. Over 68 trips to the dish with the IronPigs, he’s improved to a .271/.353/.407 mark. He’s only popped one home run in fifteen Triple-A contests, though, and Bohm has continued to struggle to elevate the ball. After posting one of the league’s highest ground-ball rates in the majors (52.8%), the right-handed hitter has hit 25 of his 45 balls in play (55.6%) on the ground in Triple-A. He’ll assume a pinch-hitting/bench role as the Phils look to erase their two and a half game deficit behind Atlanta over their final six games, manager Joe Girardi told reporters (including Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer).
Brogdon returns after missing two weeks due to a right groin strain. It’s a bit surprising he’s made it back so quickly, as reports immediately after he suffered the injury suggested he was likely to miss the rest of the season. The 26-year-old has been a reliable middle relief option, tossing 55 innings of 3.60 ERA ball.
Joyce broke camp with the Phils to serve as a left-handed bat off the bench. Injuries cost him a good chunk of the season, though, and he didn’t produce over 69 plate appearances. He was a league average hitter as recently as last season with the Marlins and has a long history of drawing plenty of walks and hitting for a fair amount of power. Assuming the 37-year-old wants to continue playing, he shouldn’t have trouble landing a minor league deal somewhere with another invitation to Spring Training this winter.