A look ahead at possible Phillies starting lineup for next season

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 14: Rhys Hoskins
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 14: Rhys Hoskins /
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The Philadelphia Phillies have several building blocks in place. What are the possible starting lineups heading into next season?

For myself and many other baseball fans who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, we played manager in board games such as Stat-O-Matic or APBA.  The more recent generation played the same roles in baseball video games and then in fantasy baseball.  I go back to my days as a boy and go through possible lineups for the Philadelphia Phillies for the 2018 season.

The Phillies have several pieces to build around and assuming no free agents will be added to the starting eight, I see ten players fighting for eight spots. There are several possibilities with those nine, however, as any one of Tommy Joseph, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera could be elsewhere come opening day next season.

My first scenario is that no players are moved in the off season. In this case,  Joseph remains at first, Cesar Hernandez at second, Galvis at shortstop and Franco at third.

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The outfield would be Rhys Hoskins in left, Hererra in center, Aaron Altherr in right and Jorge Alfaro behind the plate. The problem with this scenario leaves Nick Williams, who has an .816 OPS and J.P. Crawford on the bench.

Another possibility is that Joseph is traded for pretty much whatever return the team can get. In this case, Williams moves to left and Hoskins moves to first.

The starting lineup I would use in this scenario is Hernandez, Galvis, Herrera, Hoskins, Altherr, Williams, Franco, Alfaro and the pitcher. This still leaves Crawford on the bench, and I feel he should start  at either short or third base next season.

This leaves the third scenario, where either Galvis or Franco is moved, along with Joseph. This makes the most sense moving forward since the Phllies need more help with a struggling pitching staff than with the core.

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If Galvis is moved, my lineup would be Hernandez, Herrera, Altherr, Hoskins, WIlliams, Franco, Alfaro, Crawford and the pitcher. Should Galvis stay and Franco is moved, Galvis moves to the two hole behind Hernandez, followed by Herrera, Hoskins, Altherr, WIlliams, Alfaro, Crawford and the pitcher.

I see the bench consisting of this year’s Minor League sensation Scott Kingery, who hit .306 with 26 runs combined at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  Veteran utility man Andres Blanco should be back, despite an off season. Andrew Knapp or Cameron Rupp will return as the back up catcher.

Likely to carry 13 positions players, the final three spots could be filled by a combination of Dylan Cozens, Cameron Perkins, Pedro Florimon, Roman Quinn or via free agency.

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Whatever happens next season with the lineup, it will feature a strong core of young talent capable of taking the Phillies to the next level in a few years.

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