Phillies: Jean Segura likely Opening Day third base starter
By Matt Rappa
Phillies infielder Jean Segura appears likely to start at third base on Opening Day
It appears top hitting prospect Alec Bohm will likely not be penciled into the Philadelphia Phillies’ Opening Day lineup on July 24, at least not as the starting third baseman, that is. Former shortstop Jean Segura seems poised for the start at the hot corner.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi has long said that he would prefer Segura and Kingery to assume one spot this season. With the addition of Didi Gregorius, the ideal infield has shaped up to feature Segura at third, the former Yankees slugger at short, and Kingery at his natural position at second.
There is a possibility, however, that second baseman Scott Kingery, who has reported to summer camp following his lengthy battle with COVID-19, may not be ready come Opening Day. Yet, according to Girardi, Segura would stay at third, even if Kingery is not able to start the season.
“Segura is expected to play third base,” MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes, “and a host of candidates, including Neil Walker, Josh Harrison and Logan Forsythe, could handle the role at second.”
In Sunday evening’s scrimmage at Citizens Bank Park, Girardi chose to play Segura at second base, but, as Zolecki notes, “nothing should be read into that.” The 2009 World Series-winning skipper simply wanted to get other players, such as Bohm, time at third base.
Last year in his first go-around in red pinstripes, Segura slashed .280/.323/.420 with 37 doubles, 12 home runs, and 60 RBI spanning 144 games; it was the first season the Dominican Republic native hit below .300 since 2015. With him getting into shape in the offseason, he seems committed to having a bounce-back year, albeit now in the 60-game sprint.
Another expected Opening Day starter, Aaron Nola, is slated to pitch three innings in the Phillies’ scrimmage on Monday at Citizens Bank Park. This is the final full week of summer camp before the team begins its three-game exhibition slate, July 18-20. Then, just four days later, the season will get underway.