Right now, the Phillies moves we see are all in their most preliminary forms: Rumors about who is available to trade, simulations about what could happen in an alternate universe, maybe a surprise coaching change just to keep you awake.
It doesn’t take much to see how lustful for big Phillies news the masses are. Even a fairly expected move like placing third-string first baseman and bench bat Justin Bour on waivers ahead of the Rule 5 draft could be a precursor to something much, much more cataclysmic when we are in this state.
Trout Time— Jewelzius (@JewelziusErving) November 14, 2018
Who knows! The move allows the Phillies to clear out more space on their 40-man roster, and any human being could fill that space. Some humans are named “Mike Trout.” Let’s lean into our early winter delirium this year. See if it gets any easier.
But what we do know at this time is that Bour was brought in by Matt Klentak in early August for a specific purpose late in the season, and that purpose never really materialized. His potential departure in the Rule 5 would be the first of a series of inevitable player exits from this roster.
After he hammered the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in August for three dingers in four games, the Phillies’ acquisition of Bour was cast as their “Matt Stairs” move for 2018. What? It was the ten-year anniversary all season long, and in early August we all still thought this could be a team of destiny. Some of us even thought when they acquired Jose Bautista that oh, no, okay—this is the “Matt Stairs” deal; not the Bour one. I think mostly, people just want Matt Stairs on the team again.
It turns out, Gabe Kapler didn’t need a big bat off the bench because his team would never play in a game with serious postseason implications anyway. And Bour, it also turns out, was good for exactly one home run as a member of the Phillies anyway: a solo shot off Stephen Strasburg on August 22 in a game in which he knocked in three runs but struck out in his last three at-bats and the Phillies lost by one run. Neat!
The niche role players brought in to supplement a potential playoff team don’t serve much purpose in the harsh light of the off-season, so it makes sense that Bour is dispensable to the Phillies. He and his .224/.296/.347 with 13 SO in 49 AB as a member of the Phillies are now relics of a forgotten time.
"Bour: What is he good for? Mostly offense."— Justin Klugh (@justin_klugh) August 23, 2018
"Wild Bour: Bour goes hog-wild on opposing pitching."
"Bour-n again: Bour launches truly unholy dinger into second deck."
"Bour'd to death: Bour takes it upon himself to be Phils offense."