It wasn’t so long ago the Phillies’ bench consisted of players like Jesmuel Velentin, Dylan Cozens, Trevor Plouffe, and Mitch Walding.
Times have changed. The Phillies made a significant upgrade to their bench as they gear up for a playoff run by adding Marlins first baseman Justin Bour in exchange for minor leaguer McKenzie Mills:
Source confirms the #Phillies have acquired Justin Bour from Marlins for a minor league pitcher. Phillies bench for now will be Knapp, Bour, Quinn and Crawford/Kingery. Will change once Ramos is activated, rosters expand, etc. @Ken_Rosenthal first reported deal.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 10, 2018
The first word that comes to mind when I think about Bour is POWER. Just ask Zach Eflin:
Justin Bour goes DEEP to dead center! 🚀
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 5, 2018
Perhaps not ironically, his four homers against the Phillies are the most he’s hit against any team this season.
Bour, who is posting an .835 OPS with 17 homers against RHP this season, will likely be primarily utilized off the bench, but could also steal an occasional start from Carlos Santana against right-handed pitchers.
The other point of intrigue surrounds the immediate future of Scott Kingery. J.P. Crawford would will rejoin the team in San Diego this weekend, but Bour’s addition could mean a demotion for Scott Kingery. I’ve long preached patience with him, but I think he needs to go down for a few weeks. I’m not sure what the Phillies will do here, and I do understand their reluctance to demote Kingery, but it is almost impossible to justify his place on the 25-man roster at this point. Without hyperbole, he’s been one of the worst hitters in the National League this season. He’s hitting .223 with a .266 OBP and does not have a hit in his last 20 at-bats dating back to July 27. He’s been nothing short of brutal.
Mills, who the Phillies acquired from the Nationals last season in exchange for Howie Kendrick, will join his third organization since being drafted in the 18th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by Washington. The 22-year-old posted a 3.51 ERA over 89.2 IP with Clearwater this season.