By Peter Gleason
Don’t look now but Phillies’ outfielder Aaron Altherr is no longer an afterthought.
In fact, he has shown to be a star in the making!
Altherr has been blazing hot, hitting .338/.427/.631 overall, and providing hits and a little hope for an offensively challenged Phillies team.
Altherr made the team out of spring training, but was part of a crowded group in the Phillies outfield. Odubel Herrera is a fixture in center field, and they signed Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders in the offseason to help fill in the gaps in right and left field. And it was obvious from the get-go that Altherr was going to have trouble finding playing time. Through the first 13 games of the season, Altherr only appeared in seven games, and grabbed only 14 plate appearances.
But in mid-April, Kendrick strained his oblique. He went on the disabled list on April 18, and the Aaron Altherr era began.
Since then, he’s appeared in nearly every game the Phillies have played, and he’s made his presence felt. In the 16 games since Kendrick started his DL stint, Altherr has hit .346/.443/.635 with six doubles and three home runs. It’s a small sample size to be sure (just 61 plate appearances), but he’s already won half the battle: he’s made the Phillies pay attention to him, and realize that he could (and possible should) have a spot in the team’s lineup every day.