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Is it time to give up on the Roman Quinn Experiment?

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By Jake Finnerty, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Phillies have come into the 2021 season with a red hot start, going an impressive 5-1 in their first homestand. Though the team has finally improved their struggling bullpen and the offense is looking to do damage day in and day out, the biggest variable is still the Phillies’ center field spot. The current active roster has Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn listed as the two guys who will command the outfield, which are two players that the team can definitely improve on.

Though Haseley hasn’t been too stellar himself, Roman Quinn has shown nothing but struggles over and over at the plate in the first six games of the season. In nine at bats, Quinn has already struck out a whopping seven times. Sure, Roman Quinn had that amazing throw to the plate in the top of the 10th on Opening Day, but other than that, he hasn’t done much. He’s flailed at breaking balls in the dirt, looked for a walk more times than he’s swung the bat and is an average fielder as is. The entirety of Roman Quinn’s play style is based around his speed which, don’t get me wrong, is quite impressive [30.5 feet per second according to MLB.com], but it’s not worthy of a starting spot in the outfield.

 Okay, maybe I’m pulling from a small sample size just talking about the start of this season, so let’s revisit his stats from both the 2019 and 2020 seasons. In both 2019 and 2020, Quinn had 108 at bats and in both years he batted .213 with just 23 hits and 34 and 39 strikeouts, respectively. Not only did Roman have more strikeouts than he did hits the past two years, but his strikeouts rose in his second year.

Look, I know the Phillies don’t have the strongest options to choose for CF with Herrera’s controversial background and Kingery still struggling to get into his groove, but what makes Roman Quinn more worthy of a spot than either of those two guys? In Spring Training, Odubel Herrera seemed the best to battle Quinn for the final spot in CF. Odubel had 12 hits to Quinn's 10, five of those being extra base hits compared to Quinn’s three. Odubel had four RBIs to Roman’s one and Odubel struck out four less times than Quinn did.

Though the stats of the two aren’t drastically different, Herrera provided a worthy performance to beat out Quinn for the final roster spot. Odubel’s four HRs stick out as a bright spot for putting him in CF. Even if he were to be the Phillies 8 hitter, Odubel could provide some sneaky pop in the outfield along with a decent amount of speed needed to run the bases and cover all the outfield ground. Herrera would not be a bad option to call up as another option for CF over Roman Quinn.

Although we're still one week into the season, is it horrible to think the Phillies can dish out Roman Quinn in a trade for an outfield upgrade? A name I've heard floating around for an early season trade is Charlie Blackmon. The Colorado Rockies made the huge mistake of trading Nolan Aranado to the St. Louis Cardinals in the offseason, and it is sounding like everyone is trying to get out of the organization. Not to mention, Trevor Story will be a FA this coming offseason. If the Phillies plan to go after Story, would it be a such a bad plan to acquire his teammate Charlie Blackmon?

Charlie Blackmon finished the past two seasons with .313 and .304 batting averages, respectfully. Last year, he complemented that average with 42 RBIs and six HRs. Blackmon also has three years left on his contract, including the rest of this season. Adding Blackmon to an OF with fellow veterans Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen would be a huge step up for the Phillies, considering they haven't even solidified their starting centerfielder yet. However, it might take some for the Phils to make a move, that is, if they are going make one. The offense has been producing outside of the 8-hole hitter and I doubt Joe Girardi would want to make such a move yet. Maybe a short way down the road, Chuck Nasty will be wearing those red pinstripes on Broad Street. 

 It’s early in the season, but it’s not looking good for Roman Quinn so far. If this slump continues, is it time to give up on the Roman Quinn experiment in Philadelphia? As the stats have provided, he’s shown very little to no improvement over the past two seasons and has yet to even get decent contact on a ball. Only time will tell what the future has in store for Roman Quinn, but it’s beginning to take a turn in the wrong direction.  

Comments

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JoeNose

Really, Jake? Granted Roman is off to a slow start but he's only had 10 at bats. Bohm and McCutcheon have at least twice as many ABs but have BAs below the Mendoza line, should we ship them off, too?And contrary to your opinion, Roman is a plus defender.

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