Saturday, July 8, 2017

Phillies nearing decision time on future at first base

Tommy Joseph and the Philadelphia Phillies are in a unique position
Tommy Joseph homered last night in the Phillies' 4-3 loss to the Padres, becoming just the fifth first basemen in franchise history since 1933 to enter the All-Star break with at least 15 homers and 15 doubles.

With Rhys Hoskins knocking on the Phillies' door, Joseph is a commodity with the trade deadline inching closer. He's only 25 and won't be arbitration eligible until 2020. He has some pop and could fit nicely into the middle of a lineup where he has some protection.

Hoskins, meanwhile, hit 38 homers and drove 116 runs last year in double-A Reading and is on pace for similar numbers this year at triple-A Lehigh Valley.

It's a good position to be in, but the Phillies are nearing a point where a decision needs to be made regarding the future at first base. Neither player has the skill-set to move to another position.

Two possibilities: Hoskins is promoted immediately following the All-Star break and inherits the starting job at first base. This slashes Joseph's playing time, but his ceiling is already known and if a team has interest they have a track record to look at - OR - the Phillies ease Hoskins into the position  keeping Joseph through the deadline, potentially making a move in the off-season.

The third possibility, and likely the most unpopular with fans, is holding Hoskins in triple-A until the major league rosters expand in September and then giving him starts in the final stretch of the season.



On the Mound
Aaron Nola aims to build off his last start, an impressive outing against the Pirates where he tossed seven scoreless innings and surrendered just four hits while striking out nine. His ERA over his last three starts is 1.27 to go along with a 0.94 WHIP. He's also struck out at least eight in each of his last three outings.

Today's Lineup
1. Daniel Nava, LF
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Nick Williams, RF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Andrew Knapp, C
7. Odubel Herrera, CF
8. Andres Blanco, 2B
9. Aaron Nola, P
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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