6/1/23 : Spark
Last season the Phillies were 21-29 entering the month of June closing May with a five game losing streak. They opened June by winning nine games in a row and went 19-8 to turn frowns upside down 😎. This year they stand at 25-30 entering June.
There was a spark added to the roster on June 1st of 2022, the upbeat personality of Nick Maton joined the team and made an immediate contribution going 3 for 6 with a triple and home run in his first two games played. The more impressive impact however was his like-able swagger and joyous approach to life and the game. He immediately broke up the tension of “over-trying” to succeed and albeit Nick was injured on June 5th and sent to Clearwater for rehab work the tone was set. Of course it also coincided with skipper Rob Thomson taking over the helm on June 3rd who epitomized the positive and more communicable approach that turned the tide. As the season went on key injuries were incurred however they were absorbed by contributions from the minor leagues as call-ups like Darick Hall, Maton and others stepped up.
Fast forwarding to the present a similar slump has occurred as players with extensive track records of success are struggling. It’s now possible that Alec Bohm may need a stint on the IL. Might that open the opportunity for another spark 🧐 from an unexpected source like Maton provided last season? Darick Hall is two games into his rehab assignment and has posted three hits in eight AB’s thus far however the big fella will need a few more plate appearances to get back in full swing, he can and will help the big club once he’s ready if afforded the opportunity, no doubt in my mind. In the interim there’s a player at Lehigh Valley who has quietly had a very solid season who is not only very capable of playing first base but can handle all the other infield spots as well along with the outfield corners.
Weston Wilson is a young man who’s worked his way back from thoracic outlet surgery to rectify a medical issue with a blood clot in 2021 to performing as an every day player with Lehigh Valley this season. He’s coming off a very good month going 31 for 99 (.313) with a .417 OBP - 6 doubles, 8 home runs, 29 RBIs and a 1.033 OPS. The 28 year old was signed on 1/11/23 as a minor league free agent from the Brewers and had a solid spring training camp with the big club and now leads the Iron Pigs with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs. Weston has an upbeat personality and could potentially be the helpful spark to ignite a second consecutive turnaround month of June. He has played four defensive positions to date for Lehigh Valley (1B,SS,3B, LF) and could also possibly play a similar role that Maton did last year in regards to defensive versatility as the need arises.
Last season the club reached into the minor leagues to afford opportunities when needs arose, it worked as multiple players contributed. Every minor league player has a story to tell and an eye on reaching the show, those that are capable need to be afforded the chance. The 2023 spark might just be a call up away, never know if ya don’t give them a platform to perform. Just sayin.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
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