One option would be to have Andrew McCutchen start the game on the bench
The argument here is that Jay Bruce, Phil Gosselin, and Adam Haseley have impressed out of the gate.
Bruce followed a 0-for-4 opening game with an improved performance in the third game of the season, where he moved from DH to take McCutchen’s place in left field. He went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, a walk, and an RBI.
Following the week-long hiatus for the Phillies, Bruce homered off of Gerrit Cole in a 1-for-2 and two walk night as DH, giving him a .300/.462/.900 slash line through three games.
Gosselin continued his momentum from a productive summer camp when he started the second game of the season as DH, going 3-for-3 with two home runs, three RBI, and a walk. He entered the following day’s game in the fourth inning, replacing Neil Walker as DH and going 1-for-3 with a walk.
He most recently entered Monday’s game in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter, striking out in his lone at-bat. His slash line through three games is .571/.667/1.429.
And Haseley got off to a hot start in the third game of the season, going 4-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI in Monday’s game, recording a .556/.556/.778 slash line through two games of batting, having entered a previous game defensively in the ninth inning.
While the sample size is limited, there is more value than ever in sticking with the hot hands, when every run and every game matters that much more for the team’s playoff hopes.
A combination of Haseley and Bruce or Haseley and Roman Quinn can be used in the outfield, alongside Harper, while Gosselin can serve as DH in the games where Bruce plays defensively.
This can keep Bruce, Gosselin, and Haseley in more games while they’re hitting well, and McCutchen can enter later in the game as a pinch hitter until he shows that his swing is back.