PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nick Williams is one of the Phillies’ top prospects. The 22-year-old outfielder is hitting .288/.331/.461 with seven homers and 38 RBI’s in 68 games for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA).
But Williams was benched on Monday for not hustling, again. It was the second time Williams was removed from the lineup this month for his lack of hustle.
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, who benched center fielder Odubel Herrera in May for not running hard, admitted he’s concern about Williams.
“I’m concerned only because we’re trying to establish a culture of playing the game the right way and we want player who grind it out,” Mackanin told the 94WIP Morning Show on Wednesday. “We want players who show energy, we want players who do it the right way. We’ve had a couple incidents even at this level. I mean during the course of a long season, I get it. Once in awhile you’re gonna feel sorry for yourself and jog or whatever, but we gotta develop the attitude that we’re gonna fight rather than feel sorry for ourselves and we’re gonna battle and play hard for three hours on a daily basis. So it’s a concern and I’m sure they’re taking care of it in Lehigh Valley.”
Pete Mackanin on the 94WIP Morning Show:
94WIP Morning Show host Angelo Cataldi read this quote from Williams, spurring debate over his personality.
“I’ve never ever, ever cared about what people think about me. If their last name isn’t Williams or they don’t pay me, put food on my table or a roof over my head, than I could care less.”
“If this is his honest feelings, he’s not ready to come up,” Cataldi said.
“I would take anybody that’s comfortable in their home ballpark to hit the ball,” co-host Al Morganti disagreed. “Because they [the Phillies] have to hit the ball at home.”
“Here’s my point with this,” co-host Marshall Harris said. “I understand the criticism, I understand he needs to be punished. He’s been punished twice, appropriately, but you guys are killing the kid….you’re mad at what he’s saying.”
“I’m mad at both of it!” Cataldi yelled. “I think he’s a knuckle-head if he got suspended and then did it again. And he’s a double-knuckle head for saying that stupid comment!”
“I wouldn’t have benched him,” Morganti calmly debated. “It was a mistake to bench him. They should have brought him in and yelled at him. They have made this a bigger issue than it had to be…it was a play that a lot of people aren’t going to bust it on.”
94WIP Mike & Ike Show host Ike Reese chimed in on Twitter on Thursday morning, agreeing with Morganti and Harris.