Aaron Altherr entered camp last season as a heavy favorite to start in right field after impressing when given an opportunity toward the latter half of the 2015 season. Those plans were scrapped when Altherr tore a tendon sheath in his left wrist while diving for a ball during a spring training game. He rejoined the Phillies in late-July and got off to a solid start, hitting .248 with four homers and five steals in his first 27 games back. Things went south after that as Altherr hit .146 over the rest of the season and failed to homer while driving in just four runs. Altherr has been overly aggressive in the majors, striking out at a 30.4 percent clip last season, and he became a heavy groundball hitter last season, while seeing his flyball rate drop from 38 percent in 2015 to just 22 percent last year. Altherr still has the enticing power and speed skills that made him a sleeper entering last season, and he could surprise if he's healthy.
Altherr has worked with hitting coach Matt Stairs to make an adjustment to his mechanics at the plate this spring, Ryan Lawrence of the Philly Voice reports. Altherr has lowered his hands, which helps him get to the ball more quickly. The German-born outfielder has had a good camp thus far, slashing .286/.390/.543 with two homers and a steal in 35 at-bats. He will open the year as the Phillies' fourth outfielder, but could be just an injury away from a shot at regular playing time.
Altherr went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI in Wednesday's spring training game against the Rays. Altherr is off to a nice start this spring, having homered once as well. He missed a significant portion of the 2016 season after he tore a tendon sheath in his left wrist last spring. His power didn't seem to be there after he came back from the injury last season, but he is showing some early signs that he may be over the lingering effects of surgery. He is expected to open the season as the Phillies' fourth outfielder.
Altherr has the inside track to be the Phillies' fourth outfielder this season, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia. Altherr missed a significant portion of last season after he tore a tendon sheath in his left wrist last spring. He hit just .197/.300/.288 with four home runs in 57 games. Altherr has been overly aggressive in the majors, striking out at a 30.4 percent clip last year, and he became a heavy groundball hitter last season, while seeing his flyball rate drop from 38 percent in 2015 to just 22 percent. Some of that decline could be because of his wrist, which likely needed more time to return to full strength after his surgery. Altherr still has the enticing power and speed skills that made him a sleeper entering last season, and he could surprise if he's healthy and gets an opportunity for increased playing time at some point this season.
Altherr is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Mets, Adam Rubin of ESPN reports. Altherr is hitting a measly .161 over his past 30 games, so manager Pete Mackanin decided to give him the night off. Roman Quinn will slide over to fill his spot in right field, while Cody Asche rounds out the lineup as the left fielder.
Altherr won't start Monday's game against the Pirates. In his place Monday, the Phillies will send Cody Ache out to left field in the series opener. Altherr' could rejoin the lineup as soon as Tuesday when the Phillies are scheduled to face Ivan Nova.