The Phillies have designated catcher Rob Brantly for assignment one day after he was called up to fill in for J.T. Realmuto, who, of course, missed the Phillies’ 4-0 loss to the Nationals last night after he was placed on the Paternity List earlier in the day. That means Andrew Knapp, who’s hitting only .157 with a .518 OPS this season, will remain the team’s backup catcher. The news is sure to excite many:
Okay, let’s play a game. Name a player in Phillies history worse than Andrew Knapp. I’ll start ….
… Michael Martinez.
— Glen Macnow (@RealGlenMacnow) July 12, 2019
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was asked prior to tonight’s game if the team gave any consideration to sending Knapp down to Lehigh Valley to see if increased at-bats might possibly get him going.
Nope. Here’s Kapler:
No, not at all. That wasn’t a consideration. I think because of who he’s been in the clubhouse, who he’s been from a game planning perspective and as a teammate. We continue to think the small sample size we’ve seen at the Major League level is not an indicative of Andrew Knapp’s true talent. I am fully aware that he has not been productive as an offensive player for us. However, he has a track record of being an offensive threat at the minor league level and one of his calling cards was his ability to work a good at-bat. And I guess that’s the one thing we have seen fairly consistently is that he’s given us a strong at-bat. Not always, but enough where the other positive attributes of what Andrew Knapp brings to the table made it a non-topic for us in this particular case.
I’m not sure if what we’ve seen is or isn’t indicative of Knapp’s true talent, but he has been tough to watch, though Kapler is right in the sense that 85 plate appearances over three-plus months is a limited sample size. It’s hard for a hitter to get comfortable with such limited opportunities, but Knapp has struck out in 27 of those 85 plate appearances and has frequently looked overmatched.
Other Pregame Notes
Sean Rodriguez has been placed on the 10-day IL. The move is retroactive to July 10. He has an abdominal strain will get an MRI in next 24 hours.
Rookie outfielder Adam Haseley is back with the team. Though it’s unclear what his exact role will be, Kapler said he expects to find ways to get Haseley on the field.
Jake Arrieta threw a bullpen earlier this afternoon. Kapler, who watched video of the session from his office, said Arrieta gave fist bumps to those down in the bullpen when he was finished. He is starting tomorrow in the series finale and will be looking to bounce back after a rough stretch in which he has allowed a 6.27 ERA in 33 IP dating back to June 1.
Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez will open the Dodgers series. Nick Pivetta and Aaron Nola are likely to follow.
The Phillies have reportedly signed Logan Morrison to a minor league deal. The 31-year-old had a .999 OPS in Triple-A this season with the Yankees organization and should add some left-handed thump off the bench, assuming he soon gets a promotion.