Port St. Joe’s Roman Quinn is healthy and is back in the big leagues.
The Philadelphia Phillies called up the 25-year-old outfielder last week, seeking to add impact speed to a bench that has provided little this season.
Quinn, a switch-hitter, can reach base and play all three outfield positions.
In 25 games this year at Triple A, Quinn hit .296 with a .349 on- base percentage and 13 steals.
“I think it’s fair to say that nobody has a weapon like this off the bench,” Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler told the news outlet philly.com. “I think he’s a fairly unique commodity in baseball.
“I’m not sure there is a bench option like Roman Quinn. Because he’s an 80 runner, so there’s really no one who’s a whole lot faster, if there are those who are faster.
“He switch-hits, he plays the infield, he plays the outfield. He’s a pretty unique weapon.”
Quinn spent two weeks in the majors in September 2016 as the Phillies looked at prospects amid a 91-loss season.
Quinn has also excelled in each of the past two spring training camps.
During the spring, Kapler exposed Quinn to playing time at shortstop to expand his tool set and Quinn appeared poised to be the last man added to the squad headed north for the start of the major league season.
However, the Phillies decided to go with an additional pitcher out of camp, Quinn went to Triple A and was eventually forced to the disabled list with a torn ligament in his finger, originally suffered during spring training.
He was injured sliding into base; the second time has suffered a serious injury to a hand while sliding.
Quinn originally tried to play through the injury, but felt tingling in his arm while making a throw from shortstop in Triple A. He had surgery.
Quinn spent the last two months rehabbing from another in a series of injuries which have prevented Quinn from playing a full season since he was drafted in the second round in 2011.
“Whatever role I need to play to help the team win I will do it to the best of my ability,” Quinn told philly.com. “If that’s coming off the bench, if it’s starting every day I’m going to start.
“Whatever the team needs me to do I’m going to do.”
Kapler said he would use Quinn primarily in a reserve role, as a runner or hitter when the best situation arises, a situation based on leverage not inning in the game.
The Phillies, surprisingly, are in the middle of a playoff race, standing first in their division, as August arrives.
“We won’t save him as a bullet,” Kapler said. “It’s not like, ‘Let’s wait for the perfect time to deploy him as a pinch-runner. Let’s wait for the eighth or ninth inning.’
“No. If he’s the right guy in the sixth inning, we’ll use him in the sixth inning.”
Quinn arrived in Cincinnati on Friday and had one at-bat during the three-game set against the Reds.
On Monday, he started in right field, playing at Fenway Park which features one of the most challenging right fields in baseball.
He went 1 for 5 at the plate.
Tuesday, a Phillies win, Quinn started in centerfield and went 3 for 5 with a double.
He had been off the disabled list just eight days when he was called up.
Kapler said a focus was to ensure his “unique weapon” remains healthy.
“I shared the same thing with him that I did in spring training, which was, “This is going to re quire a lot of honesty and openness. If anything is bothering you, we don’t need heroics. What we need is for you to come and say, “This is bothering me,’” the manager told philly.com. “If there’s anything we can do to help you recover better, whether that be technology or a nutrition plan, we’re here to provide that for you.”