The Phillies had somewhat of a double blow on Friday night. They lost their backup catcher and a backup outfielder to injury. This comes as the Phillies were already extra short on depth due to injuries to infielder Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius. This time the Phillies lose Andrew Knapp and Matt Joyce.
The Phillies announced that Knapp was placed on the 7-day Concussion Injured list. This is shorter than a typical injured list stint by design, though the Phillies could transfer him to the 10-day injured list if he is not ready to resume baseball activities in seven days. Rafael Marchan returns to the club.
The Phillies placed Joyce on the IL with a lower back strain. Joyce has been used sparingly, despite injuries in the outfield to Bryce Harper and with Andrew McCutchen sometimes struggling against right-handed pitching. Even though this was an injury to an outfielder, the Phillies declined to summon either Adam Haseley or Mickey Moniak.
The Phillies instead will go with right-handed outfielder Matt Vierling. Vierling began the season at Double-A Reading and was promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley just this past Tuesday. After 13 at bats, Vierling is getting promoted once again.
The Phillies selected Vierling with their fifth round pick of the 2018 draft out of the University of Notre Dame. Vierling is not ranked among the Top 30 prospects in the system by MLB Pipeline. But he has impressed so far in Triple-A.
Vierling was batting a combined .354 with six home runs and 17 runs batted it over both levels. Vierling played center field more than any other position in 2021, but also played a good amount in right field and one appearance in right field.
Vierling has made some appearances in Spring Training, including one memorable play in Clearwater against the Yankees in which he robbed the Yankees of a grand slam. Over 35 Spring at bats in 2019, 2020 and 2021, he batted .229.
The Phillies did not need a 40-man roster spot, because Chase Anderson is currently on the COVID-related injured list. No information has been provided to a possible return for Anderson, so the Phillies have the space for now. Anderson probably would need a rehab assignment before re-joining the Phillies, anyway.