Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day: projected lineup vs. Atlanta Braves
Joe Girardi started the spring by anchoring star right fielder Bryce Harper third in the Philadelphia Phillies' batting order and going from there. That’s called sensible managing.
J.T. Realmuto and first baseman Rhys Hoskins have hit out of the second hole for the Phillies in Grapefruit League games, but Hoskins is the logical choice – with Realmuto batting cleanup – primarily because of his selectivity at the plate.
Despite batting .245 to Realmuto’s .266 during the 60-game 2020 season, Hoskins, who led the National League with 119 walks in ’19, had a higher on-base percentage last year (.384 to .349) because his walk rate was nearly twice Realmuto’s (15.7 to 8.2%).
This way, lead-off man Andrew McCutchen, who seems much healthier nearly 22 months removed from a torn ACL than he was last season, and Hoskins should be able to get on base for Harper, Realmuto, third baseman Alec Bohm and shortstop Didi Gregorius.
The center-field competition went down to the final day of spring training. The Phillies informed Adam Haseley late Monday afternoon that he made the opening-day roster and told Odubel Herrera that he'll begin the season at the minor league camp in Allentown. Roman Quinn also has a spot on the 26-man roster in the wake of Scott Kingery being sent down to the minor leagues.
"It's not (going to be) the final decision for the whole year – it's the decision for opening day," Girardi said.
Here’s what the Phillies’ lineup could look like in Thursday afternoon’s season opener (3:05) against Atlanta Braves’ left-hander Max Fried at Citizens Bank Park:
1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
2. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
3. Bryce Harper, RF
4. J.T. Realmuto, C
5. Alec Bohm, 3B
6. Didi Gregorius, SS
7. Jean Segura, 2B
8. Adam Haseley, CF
9. Aaron Nola, P
Tom Moore: email@example.com; @TomMoorePhilly