By Sam Bush
These are the final days for Nick Williams in a Phillies uni.
There are three left-handed outfielders ahead of him on the depth chart — Bryce Harper, Jay Bruce and Adam Haseley — and he has a minor-league option remaining.
He doesn’t have a future with the Phillies, yet they have kept him on the roster because they aren’t blessed with the best outfield depth.
“I went into the offseason just very positive,” Williams told the Athletic. “Control what you can control. Things happen for a reason. … Positive outlooks will always find the surface. Somehow, someway. You don’t know the timing of it. I said, I’m going to come into this year and just have fun. Keep that smile that I’ve had my whole life. You don’t want to lose it. That’s the positive outlook I have this spring.”
It’s possible the Phillies find a solution that doesn’t involve sending Williams to Triple A again. In two weeks, they will need to free at least three spots on the 40-man roster to add veterans on minor-league deals to fill the bench and bullpen. Williams’ 40-man spot could be jeopardized. The team has pursued trade scenarios before. Maybe, finally, they find a match.
Until then, Williams has focused on self-improvement — inside and outside the batter’s box.
“I’m going up there saying, ‘I can hit any pitch thrown in the strike zone,’” Williams said. “When I’m not doing that, I’m more susceptible to swinging at bad pitches.”