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2019 Phillies in review: Aaron Altherr

Mercifully, the A-A-Ron experiment was ended

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers:

.034/.067/.069, 30 PA, 0 HR, 1 RBI, -73 wRC+, -0.5 fWAR

The good:

Nothing. He stunk.

The bad:

You might be thinking to yourself, why are they writing about Aaron Altherr? What purpose does it serve to spill virtual ink on a guy who only had thirty plate appearances in 2019 and was unceremoniously released.

This is why.

It seems so long ago that we all thought of Altherr as a potential piece on the next winning Phillies team. He always had the talent; he just needed the chance to play and the luck to stay healthy for a whole season. In 2017, it all came together for him. .272/.340/.512 while getting regular at bats. That grand slam against Kershaw. He was trying to work himself into the plans of the team as they began the final phase of their rebuild and seemed to have succeeded.

And then he got hurt. Again.

It has been a common refrain while Altherr spent time in Philadelphia. The unlucky streak he has had to endure and the weird injuries he’s been mired with, it just stunk. It was difficult not to feel bad for him in 2018 when he got hurt again. He would miss most of the season and his ability just never recovered. He’s been reduced to quad-A fodder, the definition of replacement level player. Even if he managed to stay healthy for more than 30 seconds, his track record showed that counting on him to give you anything meaningful was folly. It hurts to look at this video of someone else getting called up to the majors and watching the expression on Altherr’s face, seeing the disappointment and the missed opportunity he would see fly right on by him.

I hope that Altherr has made piece with his ultimate future, whether that be riding buses in the International League or plying his trade somewhere overseas. For me, he and Freddy Galvis will always be the symbols of the rebuild: players that could succeed on a team that wasn’t really trying, but nothing you’d count on when the need for something better was at hand.

The future:

None. He has no future with the Phillies. All the promise of being a useful fourth outfielder, perhaps even a second division regular vanished upon his release.

We’ll always have the pitching....