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Philadelphia Phillies demote Johan Rojas to Triple-A. What's the OF plan moving forward?

Philadelphia Phillies activate shortstop Trea Turner from injured list
Philadelphia Phillies activate shortstop Trea Turner from injured list 01:50

PHILADELPHIA -- Johan Rojas' time with the Philadelphia Phillies is over -- for now. 

The Phillies activated Trea Turner from the 10-day injured list before Monday's game against the San Diego Padres after a 44-day absence from the lineup with a left hamstring strain. To make room for Turner, the Phillies sent down Rojas after he hit .235 with two home runs and 19 RBI with a .566 OPS in 58 games with the big club.  

A few factors played into the decision to send down Rojas over David Dahl and Cristian Pache. Rojas had a minor-league option remaining while Dahl and Pache didn't (both would have been claimed by teams looking for outfield help), and the performance at the plate didn't help Rojas' cause. 

Even though Rojas hit .267 in June, he doesn't have an extra-base hit (.267 slugging percentage). He also hasn't drawn a walk since May 19, his only walk since May 1. Rojas also has just one defensive run saved in 56 games in the outfield this season, compared to 15 in 57 games last year. 

"I think he's gonna go down there and work at it," Phillies manager Rob Thomson before Monday's series vs. the Padres. "We explained to him what he needs to do. Cut down his swing, use the field and be able to bunt. Those are the things that we need.

"If he's doing what he can do on offense, which is just a table-setter really. Have good at-bats, be able to move the ball, move runners. With him playing center field, this is probably the best version of the player."

The Phillies will platoon Brandon Marsh and Pache in center field for the time being. Edmundo Sosa and Dahl will also see time in left, as Sosa was getting reps in the outfield Monday. Sosa hit .275 with four home runs, 17 RBI, and 22 runs scored since Turner went on the injured list. 

With an OPS of .841 since May 4 (when Turner went on the injured list), the Phillies want to find a way to get Sosa's bat in the lineup. 

"You're gonna have to get [Alec] Bohm a day here and there, [Bryson] Stott a day. You're gonna have to give Trea a day," Thomson said. "Trea didn't play any rehab games, so he's probably gonna play a couple in a row so we'll see how he feels. Give him a day off before ramping him up. I think it will be OK for the next little bit." 

Thomson said he would like to get Marsh at bats against left-handed pitchers, as Marsh is hitting just .135 with a .390 OPS against them this season. The Phillies pivoted from Rojas in center field to a platoon of Marsh and Pache while Rojas works on his swing in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. 

This isn't the end for Rojas, who is just 23 years old and has hit .265 with 28 stolen bases in 117 career games. The Phillies want Rojas to hit the reset button, as he's an option to return to the big club later this year. 

"This is an opportunity for 'Ro' to develop a little bit," Thomson said. "Relax and do the things we ask him to do.

"If he's doing that, the things we ask him to do, and with him playing center field, I believe that's the best version of us."

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