May 27, 2024

The Philadelphia Phillies received a positive update on one of their star players recently. Despite making a late offseason addition with Whit Merrifield, their focus remains on strengthening their offensive depth and defensive flexibility. Merrifield’s signing, though not the blockbuster move anticipated after the Phillies’ active free agency periods in recent years, adds valuable versatility to their roster.

Free agent Whit Merrifield reportedly expected to reach a contract by the  end of the weekend

The decision to pursue Merrifield was influenced in part by Brandon Marsh’s knee injury, which necessitated surgery. Although Marsh is expected to return for Opening Day, the Phillies are taking precautions in case of any setbacks. However, there’s good news on his recovery progress, as reported by Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer: Marsh has started jogging during Spring Training and is slated to begin using the virtual pitching machine soon.

Given Marsh’s limited preseason preparation due to the injury, it’s crucial for him to ensure he’s fully prepared to face Major League pitching upon his return. Despite the setback, Marsh, who had a standout season last year with a .277/.372/.458 slash line, 12 home runs, and 60 RBIs, remains a key part of the Phillies’ plans. He posted career-high stats in bWAR (3.4) and OPS+ (127) and is projected to start in left field alongside Johan Rojas in center and Nick Castellanos in right.

Merrifield is expected to provide rotational depth across both the outfield and infield, allowing for strategic resting days and favorable matchups against opposing pitchers. The Phillies are hopeful that Marsh’s injury is the only obstacle they face leading up to Opening Day.

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