As the sun creeped across the Ben Franklin Bridge this morning, slowly and quietly roasting the cradle of America on the cusp of its 241st birthday, many of us yawned and prepared for the meaningless Friday tasks ahead of the holiday weekend.
But at the Sports Complex, Phillies brass had been presumably scrambling long into the night, and as the light of a new day was born, they put the next phase of their plan in motion.
Either that or somebody told them they had to do something to get asses in the seats.
Nick Williams is on his way to NY. Promoted!!— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) June 30, 2017
The promotion of Nick Williams brings to an end to the ongoing 2017 Phillies subplot of When Will Nick Williams Just be Promoted Already [this question is typically followed by disagreeable foot stomping]. Michael Saunders was bad and then cut. Odubel Herrera has been cited for a lack of mental focus. Howie Kendrick missed time due to injury - in fact, the promotion of Williams is in part due to Kendrick heading to the DL with a hamstring injury. With the Phillies outfield depth being rapidly sapped, the concept of bringing one of their top men - like Williams - from the minors to get some Major League experience, have a locker, and try the coffee was all too appealing.
But the Phillies held firm for whatever reason, letting 23-year-old Williams rack up a .280/.328/.511 slash line, 15 HR, 16 2B, and 5 SB in Lehigh Valley. The IronPigs are a massive tater buffet with Williams, Rhys Hoskins, Dylan Cozens, and now Scott Kingery on display. But it will be Williams who gets the first big shot, having been acquired in "The Hamels Deal," which according to Beyond the Box Score, may one day be known by a different name.
Today, the baseball world refers to the blockbuster trade between the Rangers and Phillies as "The Hamels Deal". The truth is, one day everyone might be calling it "The Williams Deal" or "The Alfaro Deal."
Williams struggled to close out last season, but this year has shown an uptick in power - he's got the 15 HR already after hitting 13 in all of 2016 - and was named International League Batter of the Week at the end of May after hitting five home runs in seven days. MLB.com has him as the Phillies No. 4 prospect.
Following the cool but less prominent promotions of Cam Perkins and Hoby Milner, Williams is hopefully part of a trend in which all of our favorite Phillies prospects are expertly filtered onto the big league squad, allowing the future to begin. But for now, Williams can just be a singular Fourth of July gift from the Phillies.
Regarding Nick Williams' promotion: might only be a few days. Not necessarily a long term thing.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 30, 2017
SHUT UP WE'RE HAVING FUN