So Scott Kingery’s back.
The Phillies announced Tuesday that they selected his contract and recalled outfielder Matt Vierling from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, placed utility man Johan Camargo on the 10-day injured list with a right knee strain retroactive to Monday, and put starter Zack Wheeler on the paternity list.
But let’s be real, Kingery is the big headliner on the transaction list here, so let’s just get right to it. This will be his first time back in the majors since May 16 of last season. After going an abysmal 1-for-19 through 15 games, Kingery was placed on waivers then outrighted to Lehigh Valley on June 7, 2021, and things didn’t get that much better with the IronPigs.
Kingery batted a woeful .181 average with a .599 OPS through 23 Triple-A games, then had to be shut down for the season to get surgery for a torn labrum. He was sent back to Lehigh Valley last month after completing his rehab. After 16 games, he’s hitting .185.
Since signing a six-year, $24 million contract ahead of his major league debut four seasons ago — a deal that proved snakebitten from the start — the 28-year old has almost completely fallen out of the Phillies’ long-term plans.
The 2015 second-round draft pick was originally a second base prospect, but because the position was already filled by César Hernández and then Jean Segura, and out of team need, Kingery was moved all over the field and never got settled in.
In 324 big-league games, Kingery hit .229 with a .667 OPS, 30 home runs, 62 doubles, and 25 stolen bases — numbers that have underwhelmed for a once top prospect.
Ultimately, you just hope this call-up is a chance for Kingery to finally catch a break and create something positive.
The Phillies have recalled OF Matt Vierling from Lehigh Valley (AAA), selected the contract of INF/OF Scott Kingery from Lehigh Valley, placed INF Johan Camargo on the 10-day IL (retro to 6/6) with a right knee strain and placed RHP Zack Wheeler on the paternity list.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 7, 2022
Vierling, meanwhile, will get another run as an extra outfielder. The starting centerfield job fell into the 25-year old’s lap out of spring training, but he did nothing to keep it, even with the Phillies flailing to find a solution at the position.
In 54 plate appearances through 23 games, he hit a meager .170 with a .472 OPS and two doubles. Vierling has had a much better performance in Triple-A though, with a .271 average and an .806 OPS.
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