2:44PM: The Phillies officially announced Castellanos’ placement, due to a right oblique strain. To make room for Guthrie, the Phillies designated infielder Luis Garcia for assignment. Garcia has hit .227/.323/.338 over 1407 career PA in Philadelphia’s farm system, and was still ranked 14th on MLB Pipeline’s list of the team’s top 30 prospects due to his defense and a seeming offensive breakout in A-ball in 2021. However, Garcia has struggled badly this year at both the high-A and Double-A levels.
12:21PM: The Phillies have placed outfielder Nick Castellanos on the 10-day injured list. Outfielder Dalton Guthrie had his contract selected from Triple-A, and another 40-man roster move will be necessary to accommodate Guthrie’s addition to the active roster.
Castellanos left Friday’s game due to an oblique injury, with manager Rob Thomson saying that the outfielder would undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the problem. There hasn’t been any word on the results of the MRI, but even a lower-level oblique problem usually results in at least a minimal IL visit. Castellanos and the Phillies can only hope that the injury is minor, as otherwise Castellanos could be in danger of missing the rest of the regular season and possibly the playoffs.
It has been an underwhelming season overall for Castellanos, who signed a five-year, $100MM free agent deal with Philadelphia in March. The slugger is hitting only .265/.305/.397 over 531 plate appearances, resulting in a subpar 96 wRC+. However, Castellanos has looked a lot more like his old self in recent weeks, with five home runs and a .318/.348/.505 slash line in his last 112 PA.
With Castellanos now sidelined, Matt Vierling figures to see much of the action in right field, as Vierling has already been filling in for the last couple of days and while Castellanos also recently missed time with a turf-toe injury. Bryce Harper is still limited to DH duty and isn’t an option in the outfield, leaving Vierling, utilityman Nick Maton, and now Guthrie as the choices for right field playing time.
Guthrie was a sixth-round pick for the Phillies in the 2017 draft, and the 26-year-old is now on the verge of his Major League debut. He posted some middling numbers over his first three pro seasons, but hit well enough in 2021 to earn a promotion from Double-A to Triple-A, and Guthrie has continued to perform at the highest minor league level. Over 513 total PA at Triple-A in 2021-22, Guthrie has hit .299/.354/.466 with 12 home runs and 23 steals (out of 30 chances).
Beyond just outfield depth, Guthrie also offers the Phillies some versatility around the diamond, which could hint at Maton perhaps getting more work as an outfield-specific player. Guthrie has played mostly center and right field this season at Triple-A, with only a handful of games as a second baseman, third baseman, and shortstop. However, Guthrie was initially drafted as an infielder, and hadn’t played a pro game in the outfield until 2021.