12 days after being placed on the 10-day IL with a left knee sprain, Didi Gregorius may return to play on Tuesday against the San Diego Padres.
Playing in his place has been Bryson Stott. He was a contender for the starting job at shortstop as recently as Opening Week, but following a rocky start to the season, Stott was sent down to Lehigh Valley.
He may not be able to elude that same fate once again as his failure to consistently produce at the plate is widely apparent.
During his first stint in early April, which lasted nine games, Stott struggled at the plate, hitting .133/.161/.328. His average and slugging percentage were the lowest on the team for a player in the starting lineup during that period.
That ability has held true in Stott's more recent stint covering for the injured Gregorius, when he slashed .136/.240/.136. A modicum of positive progress has been made, but perhaps not enough to keep him in the big leagues.
Another positive note from Stott's second stint was his three-RBI game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, showing that he does have the potential to hit against experienced pitchers.
However, the Phillies are looking to win right now. They probably don't have time to wait for Stott to develop in the Majors.
Prior to his injury, Gregorius was batting .288/.338/.356. His offensive production has been mildly consistent but his his average exit velocity is far below his career average and his BABIP is well above the baseline that he's set throughout his career.
Gregorius is due for some extreme regression, and it may come sooner rather than later.
Stott may be struggling in the Majors, yet one place where he isn't struggling is the minor leagues where he is slashing .333/.375/.611 across his nine games. These numbers are constant with what he hit last year with Lehigh Valley, .303/.439/.394.
Although Stott is getting better with each stint with the Phillies, it may be better for him to continue developing with Lehigh Valley. It's clear that there's a gifted player there, but it's going to take Stott time to find himself in the Major Leagues.
More From SI's Inside The Phillies:
- How Mike Trout Will Join the Phillies
- Andrew Painter is Off to a Historic Start
- Phillies Top-10 Prospects Heading Into the 2022 MLB Season
- 18-Year-Old Phillies Prospect is Making History
- How did Philadelphia end up with Citizens Bank Park?
- How the Phillie Phanatic Came to be America's Favorite Sports Mascot
- This Unlikely Draft Pick Could be the Final Piece in the Phillies Next Blockbuster Trade
- "The Family Was More Nervous Than Him," Stott’s Relatives on Debut
- Picking the Phillies' All-Time Single Season Lineup
- Why Did the Phillies Forget About These Top Prospects?