Imaging making your first Opening Day roster as a young player only to have it dashed on the eve of the opener when you are told you can’t play for four to six weeks because of a broken bone in your hand. What was initially diagnosed as a bone bruise turned out to be a fracture in the right hand of Mickey Moniak. The injury occurred in the Phillies final spring training game of the year on Wednesday and will put him on the disabled list to open the season.
After a monster spring training, Moniak, 23, not only made the Phillies out of camp but figured to platoon in center field with Matt Vierling. It’s likely that Moniak would have made the start on Opening Day with Oakland having right-hander Frankie Montas on the mound. The position opened for Moniak when Odubel Herrera went on the IL with an oblique strain early in spring training.
The Phillies took Moniak with the first overall pick in the 2016 Draft, but he has developed slower than many had hoped, although being drafted out of high school, the learning curve was much more difficult than some might have thought that it might be. In his major league debut in 2020, Moniak hit .214 in 18 plate appearances with the Phillies and followed that up with an average of just .091 (3-for-33) last season with Philadelphia. This spring, Moniak hit .227 with 7 HR and 24 RBI with the Phillies.
Moniak hasn’t officially been placed on the IL, but Todd Zolecki of Phillies.com reports that another 23-year old, Simon Muzziotti, will be added to the Phillies 28-man roster to take Moniak’s place. Muzziotti was assigned to Double-A Reading to open the season, but is one of just two additional outfielders on the 40-man roster and the only one that can play center field. Like Bryson Stott, who also made the team out of spring training, Muzziotti will be making his major league debut. A more likely option would have been Adam Haseley, but the Phillies traded him to the Chicago White Sox during spring training for pitcher McKinley Moore. The move will likely be made official on Friday prior to the Phillies 3:05 game against Oakland in Philadelphia.