In bad news for the Phillies, their spring sensations is going to be missing some time to start the season.
Mickey Moniak indeed has a fracture in his right hand, a source confirms. No further details. Was hit by a pitch yesterday. Initial x-rays were clean https://t.co/g0Ge52G0TQ— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) April 7, 2022
Moniak was one of the better stories to come out of spring training this year, showing a renewed style of play and winning the center field position. This news, on the same plane as John Lannan becoming public enemy number one, hurts the team, but not nearly as much as it seems.
Center field was going to be a platoon anyway, so this news means Matt Vierling will be getting a lot of time to see if he can keep hitting the ball really, really hard. It also means they’ll have to bring someone up to help in center field, maybe to be a platoon partner, maybe not. The immediate candidate becomes Simon Muzziotti, mostly since he’s already on the 40-man roster and doesn’t require someone else being designated for assignment. There are plusses and minuses to that.
On the plus side, Muzziotti is an outstanding defensive center fielder and if he’s used as a late inning replacement, with Vierling sliding over to a corner, their outfield defense is significantly upgraded. On the down side, Muzziotti needs work on his offense and could really use the reps he’d get in the minors. He will, however, get to work for a while with Kevin Long, so that can only benefit him.
It’s a tough...ahem...break for Moniak, but it’s not the season ender it may have been in the past. The team wasn’t really depending on center field for offense anyway, anything they could give being a bonus. It just really makes one feel bad that Moniak finally caught fire and now will have to wait a little while longer.