Altherr Activated; Bourjos to the DL
In a bit of expected news, the Phillies officially announced this transaction:
#Phillies have placed OF Peter Bourjos on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder sprain and reinstated OF Aaron Altherr from the DL.
— Phillies (@Phillies) July 28, 2016
Peter Bourjos was injured when he Rowanded himself against the outfield wall during Tuesday night’s game in Miami.
While the catch did successfully delay Ichiro’s career 2,997th hit, it did so at the expense of Bourjos’ shoulder. There was no immediate timetable given as to when Bourjos is expected to be able to rejoin the team, but presumably he’ll be back before the end of the season. In that case, he still remains a trade candidate who could move during August. He may or may not clear waivers, but only teams interested in working out a trade are likely to put a claim in on him because he’s a relatively low impact player who will be a free agent at the end of the season.
The good news, of course, is that Aaron Altherr is ready to step right into the roster spot vacated by Bourjos. After posting a surprisingly impressive 124 wRC+ over 161 plate appearances as a rookie a year ago, Altherr was sidelined during the first week of spring training by a wrist injury which ultimately required surgery. Four and a half months later, he is healthy and ready to state his case to be a part of the Phillies future. One of the key components of Altherr’s success at the plate last year was an outburst in power production at the plate. Given that wrist injuries have been known to sap power for hitters (at least temporarily), it will be interesting to see how much of the power returns for him this season. Of course , the other key to Altherr’s value is the ability to play stellar defense at all three outfield positions and there’s no particular reason to expect that skill to be hindered by his injury recovery.
Phillies spring training next year will feature a glut of outfielders including Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn, Tyler Goeddel. Already 25 years old, Altherr will do well to establish his role on the Phillies over the final two months of this season.