Drew Ellis signed a minor league deal with the Phillies on April 16 and started his season at Double-A Reading before being promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valey after 11 games. He was most likely destined to serve as back of the roster filler, and essentially, he was. But he did have a memorable moment and may have played a very small part in turning the season around in the early going.
2023 stats (with Philadelphia): 12 G, 29 PA, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 6 BB, .217/.379/.478
Ellis was called up to the MLB roster on June 1st after Alec Bohm was added to the injured list with a hamstring strain. This was at a time when Bryce Harper was still locked to DH and the Phillies were trying to piece 1B and 3B together with a combination of Bohm, Edmundo Sosa, Kody Clemens, and Darick Hall. Ellis didn’t really help solve that equation much, as he collected just five hits in 12 games.
But three of those hits came on June 4th in Washington. Coming into that game, the Phillies had just two more wins than the Nationals and were sitting at 26-32. They desperately needed some sort of spark as they were looking to take off in the month of June again. Ellis was that spark for one day, as he reached base all four times he came to the plate, collected three hits, and two home runs. His first homer gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fifth on a day their offense was struggling to get going up to that point. The Nationals had just tied the game at 1-1 in the previous half inning and the Phillies were looking to be in danger of dropping a series to the Nats at a time they needed to bank wins.
Drew Ellis' first home run as a Phillie gives them a 2-1 lead pic.twitter.com/3pBHAfRG99— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 4, 2023
The flood gates opened in the sixth after Ellis again came through with a two out single that got Kyle Schwarber to the plate and allowed Mr. June to hit a three-run homer to begin the rout. Ellis tacked on his second homer in his next at-bat to push the score to 8-1. In his last plate appearance, Ellis worked a walk and once again scored when Schwarber hit another three-run homer. Sure, Schwarber did more damage, but Ellis quietly had some of the most key at-bats of the game in a game the Phillies had to win.
If you haven’t noticed by now, three of Ellis’ five hits of the season came in that game in Washington. He would appear in just eight more games and collect one more hit before being sent back to Lehigh Valley for good on July 21st. Once Bohm returned from injury, there just wasn’t any room for Ellis on the MLB roster, and he hadn’t exactly forced the issue outside of that one magical afternoon in the nation’s capital.
Ellis’ time in the Phillies organization is likely at an end. He was designated for assignment on September 22nd to make room on the roster for Orion Kerkering. He cleared waivers and was outrighted to Lehigh Valley on September 24th. Ellis elected free agency on October 14th. There’s a chance he receives an invite to Spring Training, but it’s probable he looks for more playing time opportunities elsewhere.