The Phillies currently find themselves in the midst of an National League East dogfight, as they came into Sunday’s action tied with the Mets atop the division. The Braves sit only a game and a half back of first place, while the Marlins and Nationals are both three and a half out. With such little separation between all five NL East teams, the margin for error is razor thin, as one game could make or break the Phillies playoff hopes. In a situation like this, mental lapses must be avoided like the plague.
Prior to this weekend, sure-handed second baseman Jean Segura had committed only one error, and was enjoying a fine year at the plate. Despite missing a handful of games due to a stint on the Injured List, Segura has been everything the Phillies could have hoped for. However, Segura has seemed a bit off this weekend. Yesterday, Segura went 0-4 at the plate and committed one error in the field. A tough game, but nothing to worry about. Today, the mini slump was broken, as Segura has cracked two hits, including a triple. More worrisome however, is his fielding, as he’s botched two seemingly playable batted balls. Additionally, cameras captured the usually affable Segura in what seemed to be a shouting match with manager Joe Girardi.
Something clearly seems to be upsetting the Phillies, and chief among them Jean Segura. While some fans are quick to hit the panic button, I believe patience is in order. The Phillies have had a trying past few weeks, and a rash of injuries, to boot. In a year like this, with COVID-19 turning everything upside down, it’s quite understandable for players to lose their cool once in a while. While it may seem like a massive issue to publicly shout at your team’s manager, spats like these happen quite often in the major leagues. Joe Girardi is an experienced, old-school baseball man, and he most definitely has had his fair share of disagreements in the past. Hopefully, this most recent donnybrook will be smoothed over by tomorrow, and the whole affair will be forgotten. In regards to Segura’s play, his recent infractions should be met with understanding, as the sun in Dunedin has been playing tricks on Phillies and Blue Jays fielders alike, and Segura should be back to his steady ways next week.
If the Phillies are to make a serious push to play baseball in October, Jean Segura will be a crucial cog in their winning machine. His likeable personality and consistent infield play will be integral to the development of rising stars Alec Bohm and Nick Maton. Segura will remain under contract through the 2023 season, and with any luck the stability that he provides at the keystone will help lead the Phillies into a new era of playoff success.