Scott Kingery set to make Phillies debut Friday against Braves

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CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Scott Kingery #80 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a portrait on February 20, 2018 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Scott Kingery #80 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a portrait on February 20, 2018 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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Scott Kingery will make his official Phillies debut Friday night against the Braves, batting sixth and playing third base.

The Phillies will look to bounce back from a disappointing loss on Opening Day Thursday. To help provide a spark to start the season, Scott Kingery will make his major-league debut Friday night. He will bat sixth and play third base.

Here is the full starting lineup:

  1. 2B Cesar Hernandez
  2. 1B Carlos Santana
  3. CF Odubel Herrera
  4. LF Rhys Hoskins
  5. RF Aaron Altherr
  6. 3B Scott Kingery
  7. C Andrew Knapp
  8. P Nick Pivetta
  9. SS J.P. Crawford

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Kingery wasn’t expected to be on the Opening Day roster this year due to service time limitations. He was expected to be in Triple-A for a couple weeks before coming up to the majors. This would keep him under team control for another season, delaying his free agency timetable.

However, the two sides avoided this issue when Kingery signed a six-year contract Sunday. He is just the second player to sign an extension before ever playing a game.

Kingery will make $24 million over the next six years. In addition, there are three club options at the back end of the deal. This will potentially keep him in Philadelphia through 2026, his age-32 season.

Besides Kingery, Odubel Herrera will also make his 2018 debut in the lineup. He was left out of the Opening Day lineup for the first time in his career, which he was understandably upset about. Kapler said the decision to leave Herrera out of the lineup was based on that game’s matchup and he will play plenty over the next week.

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Kapler will also employ a lineup featuring the pitcher batting eighth. Former manager Pete Mackanin did it 35 times two years ago. This is a strategy employed by many analytics-driven teams. Kapler tested it out during spring training and said there was a good chance they would use it this year. A high on-base percentage player is often used in the ninth spot, who in this case is J.P. Crawford.

One player who remains out of the lineup is Jorge Alfaro. He was expected to be the starter this year, but so far Andrew Knapp has started both games behind the plate. Knapp hit a two-run single, but also made a costly throwing error after a passed ball that led to a run in the eighth inning.

Alfaro will likely have to wait until Saturday for his 2018 debut.

Next: Gabe Kapler era begins in the worst way

The top of the lineup remains fairly similar compared to Thursday. Herrera takes Nick Williams’ spot, but the first few spots remain the same.

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