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Phillies release veteran shortstop Didi Gregorius

Scott Lauber, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Baseball

PHILADELPHIA — Didi Gregorius’ days with the Phillies are over.

In another move to make the roster younger and more dynamic while also maximizing the odds of ending a decadelong playoff drought, the Phillies released Gregorius on Thursday. They are responsible for paying the roughly $5 million left on the veteran shortstop’s contract.

Gregorius, 32, batted .210 with one home run and a .567 on-base plus slugging percentage in 63 games. With second baseman Jean Segura returning from a fractured right index finger, the Phillies chose to stick with rookie Bryson Stott at shortstop and ditch Gregorius.

The move comes two days after center fielder Odubel Herrera and reliever Jeurys Familia were designated for assignment, cleared out to make way for newly acquired Brandon Marsh and David Robertson, respectively.

Gregorius initially signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Phillies and played well in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, batting .284/.339/.488 with 10 homers. But the Phillies followed up with a two-year, $28 million deal at a time when other free-agent shortstops (Andrelton Simmons, Freddy Galvis, even Marcus Semien) were getting one-year contracts.

 

Hampered last year by multiple injuries, including an elbow issue that he said was misdiagnosed and required offseason surgery, Gregorius batted .209/.270/.370 with only 13 home runs.

The Phillies were counting this season on a bounceback. It never came.

But with Stott, they had another option. A natural shortstop, Stott had been filling in for Segura at second base. Although his numbers are lacking (.196/.262/.314, seven homers), he has delivered several big hits, including a walk-off three-run homer June 5 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Gregorius is one hit shy of 1,000 for his career. In his final game with the Phillies, he went 1 for 4 in a 3-1 victory in Atlanta. In a potential spot to use a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and tough Braves lefty A.J. Minter, interim manager Rob Thomson stuck with Gregorius, who grounded out.

©2022 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Visit inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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