By Peter Gleason
The Phils have turned the tables on this season, going 25-10 since Joe Girardi was fired and interim manager Rob Thomson was elevated.
They are 7 games above .500 and if the season were to end today they would make the postseason for the first time since 2011 as a wild card.
The trade deadline is approaching on August 2.
And the Phils will be natural buyers, trying to improve enough to move up in the standings and take a real run at the Mets, who lead NL East.
So yes, the temptation would be to acquire a center fielder who can not only hit but won’t take a circuitous route to a fly ball as Odubel Herrera did on Wednesday night. That misplay cost the Phillies in their 3-2 loss, and really, Herrera should have been designated for assignment long ago.
But look no further than the players on the roster who have been called up from the minor leagues this season as to why they shouldn’t go for broke. The young players have all contributed to this run. On Thursday, it was Darick Hall (above), who has four home runs in 31 at-bats at the major league level since his call-up last week.
Hall hit that fourth homer Thursday, off the foul pole in right field, to give the Phillies a 5-2 lead. He just missed another homer earlier in the game when his liner clanked off the wall in straightaway center, 401 feet away.
“I knew I hit it really good, but a little low,” Hall said. As it was, that double drove in the Phillies’ first run of the game after they fell behind 2-0.
Matt Vierling has rotated between the outfield and infield. On Thursday, he played third base. He doubled and scored. Put him in center field for the rest of the season in place of Herrera.