Odd Men Out on the Phillies

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Tommy Joseph
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Tommy Joseph /
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Alfaro Is Pushing the Phils To Choose Between Rupp or Knapp as the Backup Catcher. Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images.
Alfaro Is Pushing the Phils To Choose Between Rupp or Knapp as the Backup Catcher. Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images. /

As a work in progress, Jorge Alfaro went from eight strikeouts in 17 at-bats last September to hitting .356 for August. But 13 of his 16 knocks were singles with two doubles and one bomb. And although he’s proven he can hit for average, the decision-makers want him to mix in some long balls. With nine more ABs this month, however, he has 13 knocks including three homers and a two-bagger for a .241 mark (.293 overall). Additionally, the rookie’s defense is improving.

While many of the faithful are down on Cameron Rupp, he is still the most experienced receiver on the Philadelphia Phillies. And he has 30 home runs over the last two campaigns; however, his average has dropped from .252 in 2016 to .219 this summer. Was ’16 a career year? Regardless, moving him might not yield much pitching.

"ON THE OTHER HAND:   “A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.” – Ovid"

While Knapp despite limited playing time has decent stats for a backup catcher, he also has three options remaining. But because he’s a switch-hitter, he’s a left-handed threat off the bench or against difficult right-handed pitchers: Alfaro and Rupp are right-side bats. Presently, Knapp’s hitting .253 with acceptable defense.

Next: 5 Phillies, 3 Spots

When it comes to catchers, three is one too many. But Klentak has three possibilities: He could trade Rupp, option Knapp to Triple-A, or carry three backstops on the active roster. So, it’s time for Klentak to do what? Earn his pay!