Phillies management continues to tinker with its lackluster bench.
On Monday, the team announced that it had outrighted utility infielder Jayson Nix to Triple A. As a veteran player, Nix can refuse the assignment and become a free agent.
The Phillies acquired Nix from Tampa Bay just before opening day. He played in 16 games and had six hits in 39 at-bats (.154).
The team said it would add a player before Tuesday night’s game against the Angels.
Who might that player be?
Well, it won’t be Freddy Galvis. He is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone.
Darin Ruf might be a logical fit, but he might not be ready. He strained an oblique muscle late in spring training and has only had 14 at-bats in his official minor-league rehab stint. Ruf played in Lehigh Valley on Monday and went 1 for 2 with a walk and an RBI. After the game, he told reporter Marshall Harris of Comcast SportsNet that he needed more at-bats before he considered himself ready for the majors. Whether the Nix transaction changes that remains to be seen.
Maikel Franco’s name will be thrown around, but it’s doubtful the Phils would bring him to be a bench player. He needs regular at-bats and time at third base and hasn’t shown himself to be ready for that after 34 games at Triple A. Franco has warmed up recently, but was hitting just .231 with three homers and 13 RBIs entering Monday.
Nix played all over the infield. That might point to the Phillies bringing Cesar Hernandez back from Double A.
The Phils’ bench, which has been in flux since the end of spring training when Kevin Frandsen was let go, has really struggled. Galvis, Nix and John Mayberry Jr., in particular, have had problems, going a combined 12 for 90 (.133).
Frandsen signed with Washington after the Phils let him go. He has played in 29 games and is 15 for 59 (.254) with three doubles and four RBIs.