Children are taught early in life that if they work hard and produce at high levels, regardless of the activity or task they’re tackling, rewards will be earned.
The key word is “earned.”
Entering Thursday afternoon’s spring training game against the Detroit Tigers in Clearwater, a.k.a. the first installment of “Arrieta Day,” Scott Kingery is sporting a batting average of .390 with an on base percentage of .419, four homers, seven runs batted in, four stolen bases and six runs scored in 43 plate appearances. Almost every 10 times Kingery steps up the plate, he goes yard.
The soon to be 24-year-old versatile infielder, and outfielder potentially, deserves to make the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
There’s another key word. “Deserves.”
Yet, you could strongly speculate and in all likelihood be correct that Kingery will begin the year in Triple-A so the Phils acquire an extra year of service time for the highly touted prospect.
Maybe the progressive baseball world feel it’s a smart move, but in reality, it can potentially be detrimental for what the Phillies want to accomplish in 2018, a season the managing partner and manager hope features meaningful games in September.
While Kingery is lighting up major league camp, returning Phillies Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera are each hitting below the .200 with on base percentages of .240 or less.
Let’s hypothetically say Kingery starts the season in Lehigh Valley and rakes as he should, considering he’s major league ready. But at the same time, Franco, Hernandez and Herrera break out, as do the entire team, good enough for a record at least 7-5 or 8-4.
What do the Phillies do then?
Do you bring Kingery up and mess with the good vibes of the 25-man roster you started with in Atlanta?
What happens if Kingery is promoted but struggles at first which is understandable for a player’s first time in the majors? Then you’re possibly messing with early success and ruffling feathers of those who produced.
What if the Phillies don’t bring him up because of the big leaguers’ hot starts? Remember, they held Rhys Hoskins back longer because Tommy Joseph was doing decent.
Joseph was designated for assignment recently and claimed by the Rangers.
Having Kingery make the Opening Day roster as either the starting third baseman, second baseman or center fielder avoids all of those scenarios and maybe sparks a fire under the you know what of struggling players Franco, Herrera and Hernandez.
Most importantly, Kingery playing everyday in Phillies pinstripes gives them the best chance to compete right from the start. Why minimize your opportunity to win right away? These could be victories that help you play meaningful games during the dog days of summer or the sweaty palms time of August and September.
There’s no point for the Phillies to worry about service time because if they believe Kingery will be a stud and they’re extremely successful as a result, he’ll be extended anyway prior to the end of his service time.
This is a no brainer that shouldn’t even require debate by Phillies management.
Tell that kid and the fans who anticipate watching him that he’s made the team. Jump start this new era already. Why wait any longer?
Before I forget…
• As of Thursday morning, March 22nd, there’s still a possibility that Markelle Fultz returns to the Sixers this season. The team won’t rule him out. Brett Brown claims he doesn’t know what’s going to happen. For months I insisted they shut him down to avoid distraction, but with 12 regular season games to go, eight of them versus inferior teams, if the Sixers are going to play him this year, there won’t be a better time to get his feet wet and work him in. If he’s healthy and his shot looks acceptable, what is the holdup? That’s the story of this never ending mystery. Meantime, continue to enjoy Fultz mugging for the camera. At least he’s doing something.
When you wake up to that SCHOOL IS CANCELLED announcement. pic.twitter.com/zEfLuA9UmI
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 22, 2018
What’s Fultz up to here? pic.twitter.com/ZoxFo6XRgG
— Marc Farzetta (@MarcFarzetta) March 19, 2018
• I feel like most times I post a note about the Flyers underachieving, they follow with a couple of victories like the Orange and Black did against Carolina then Washington. However, then came questionable effort in a shootout loss to the lowly Red Wings. Do yourself a favor and lower all expectations with this Jekyll and Hyde team. They’re the ultimate tease and there might not be a more frustrating type of squad to root for.
• I’d officially like to rename the South Region of the NCAA Tournament, “The Crater,” because a giant meteor came out of nowhere and blew it up. It’s one reason the first week of games were the essence of entertainment. Between tons of upsets, buzzer beaters, cinderella teams and 98-year-old super fans, college basketball couldn’t ask for a better first and second round. Unsurprisingly, the alleged recruiting scandal clouding over the sport was barely brought up, if at all. However unfortunate the current brushing under the rug treatment that story may be getting, it’s because the competition of the actual basketball is so good. I’m not a fan of college sports, but I won’t deny the tournament is much watch television.
• With all due respect to Brent Celek, of all the players to depart the Eagles, LeGarrette Blount is the biggest loss. His overall numbers may not jump off the page, but you can’t deny most of the times “The Train” was called upon he made an impact. Blount was the Eagles knockout punch after a double jab. His runs were pulverizing. His leadership was infectious. His professionalism was more than noticed. Blount rushed for three touchdowns in the postseason, specifically one in every game. In Super Bowl LII, he recorded 14 carries for 90 yards, which averaged to 6.4 per attempt. Although Blount only played one season in Philadelphia, it was more than memorable, championship or not. Legend For Life.
• It’s a great thing Nick Foles wasn’t traded. It was the best move the Eagles made. However, it led to this outrageous, yet humorous comment by former Eagle Cris Carter, a football analyst I typically think provides solid insight. However, the Hall of Fame wide receiver said on Fox Sports 1’s First Things First program that there’s no market for Foles and Sam Bradford is a more accomplished football player.
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) March 20, 2018
You could argue no market for Foles based on the misjudged perception of him in the NFL. Yet, using Bradford as your example is laughable and nullifies your case. Look, Colin Cowherd may be an instigator who picks on Philadelphia, but at least it wasn’t crazy for him to believe the Sixers would win less than 40 games. Cowherd was wrong, like Carter is about Foles, but one’s take follows fours seasons of 28, 10, 18 and 19 wins. Foles just defeated Tom Brady’s Patriots in the Super Bowl, resulting in the game’s MVP award. Bradford is still looking to play his first postseason game. Case closed. In order for that to change, Bradford needs to take an underdog team to the Super Bowl and win MVP, which isn’t going to happen, ever. “Nicky 6” is more accomplished than “Sammy Sleeves” any day.