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Let’s give Jean Segura some love

He’s had some good games on this run he’s on

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2020 season was dawning on us, many people were looking around for the player on offense who might come out of seemingly nowhere to help the team win a few games. The easy names - Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto - they’re the ones you think of leading the charge. The bounceback candidates - Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery - they’re the ones that get the most ink because of their importance to the current and future welfare of the organization. It’s the veterans sprinkled in around the roster that got a little overlooked.

We identified some of them here at The Good Phight, and one of them was Jean Segura. With Kingery more or less handed the second base job in spring training, Segura was bumped to third base. By all accounts, he handled the transition without a problem, either by his personality or because the manager came to him like an adult and explained his and the organization’s detailed plan for the future (imagine that...)

The only problem with moving to third base in Philadelphia: that just so happened to be the one spot where the team had a first round pick that many people were longing to see break camp with the big league club, grabbing a starting spot and beginning a long, illustrious career with the Phillies. So now, instead of having a spot to get comfortable in, Segura would be forced to play the hot corner constantly wondering if an extended cold streak would mean the kid coming up and usurping his spot on the team.

Fast forward to July and the team was suddenly given an extra spot in the lineup in the form of a designated hitter that perhaps Alec Bohm could fill when he was ready, but since Bohm wasn’t able to get those extra plate appearances to finish off his development time in the minors, he would have to start the shortened season at the alternate site, meaning Segura was safe.

Then COVID-19 hit Kingery, sapping his energy and power, meaning Segura became a little more important.

Then Kingery got hurt, meaning Segura became a little more important.

Then the centerfield situation went into flux, meaning Kingery will probably spend some time there when he returns from IL, meaning Segura became a little more important.

All the while, Segura started to heat up. Now, a quick glance at Segura’s BR page and the game log within, you won’t be too impressed with how he started out. After the game on August 23, he was staring down the barrel of a .206/.316/.368 slash line, not exactly one you want to trot out every day. Yet Jean continued to plug away, moving around the infield dirt, playing where he was needed and by all accounts, not saying a word about it. Since that date, Segura has picked it up offensively, hitting .305/.359/.458 with 2 HR, 13 RBI and an 11:5 K:BB ratio, all while getting most of the time at second base to make up for the injured/struggling Kingery and to allow Bohm to spread his wings at third base. Segura has also provided some highlights of late, notably his extra inning home run against the Mets to rescue the team from a truly depressing loss.

That has been one of the things that has been so key about Segura this season. His versatility around the infield has allowed Joe Girardi to rest guys when they need it and not lose much in the way of defensive ability. Girardi has been vocal this season in his praise of Segura for moving around so much, for taking that “whatever the team needs” approach to helping them win. After two years of people playing out of position, it helps that everyone so far is in their right spot, and that there are players capable of backing them up naturally.

So yes, perhaps his numbers haven’t been back to his pre-2019 levels as of yet. Whatever funk he was in earlier this year, he does seem to be snapping out of it a little bit right now. So show James Cigarettes some love today. He’s earned it.