In a surprise move, the Phillies decided to send outfielder Nick Williams to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to clear a roster spot for Scott Kingery to come off the IL. Kingery went on the DL a month ago with a right hamstring strain and finished up a rehab assignment with Lakewood and Reading this week.
Initially, it was thought that either Phil Gosselin or Sean Rodriguez would be the one sent down to Lehigh Valley. Instead, the Phillies decided to send Williams to Triple-A so he could get regular playing time and at-bats. Williams was hitting just .180 in 38 games with the Phillies and had just 61 at-bats this season. Kingery is primarily an infielder, but has played some outfield, particularly in center field. Gosselin and Rodriguez are more adept at playing infield positions, leading to the speculation that one of them would be optioned out.
Last season with the Phillies, Williams hit 17 home runs and drove in 50 runs. The 17 homers passed his total of 12 in 2017, but he fell five RBI short of the 55 that he drove in with the Phillies in 2017. In two-plus seasons, Williams has put together a slash-line of 30-109-.322/.431/.754 with the Phillies. In the first two seasons of his career, Kingery has played in 166 games with a line of 10-41-.238/.280/.365 in Philadelphia.
Williams has 72 hours to report to Lehigh Valley and it is expected that he won’t be in the IronPigs lineup until Wednesday.