5 key Phillies storylines to follow as season gets underway

Catcher J.T. Realmuto (10) of the Philadelphia Phillies (Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports)
Catcher J.T. Realmuto (10) of the Philadelphia Phillies (Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports) /
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It is hard to believe, but just three spring training games remain for the Philadelphia Phillies before the team heads north to prepare for Opening Day on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves.

There are plenty of storylines surrounding the team that fans need to follow in the days ahead. Here are the five that I think is most important.

Phillies centerfield situation seems poised for a platoon

Maybe the most talked about storyline from spring training has been the heated centerfield competition that was originally supposed to heavily favor in the direction for Adam Haseley, until his injury. Based on recent reports, it seems like Haseley is healing well. In all likelihood, I doubt he is the Opening Day starter, but it is easy to imagine he wins that spot later in the month.

A few weeks ago, I wrote how Scott Kingery had the best chance to win the Phillies center field competition in spring training. Right now, the competition is close but far from heated, as Kingery has struck out 16 times and has an OPS of .484. It seems like Kingery is completely out of the running, although he had an extra-base hit and two RBI on Friday.

Roman Quinn has a much-higher .792 OPS, but he might have the least amount of potential in the regular season. After a hot start, Odubel Herrera has slowed down and has a .646 OPS. It is currently anyone’s game. If I had to predict who would be the best in the regular season, I would say Herrera — but that could change as spring training comes to a close.

If whoever wins this job can’t get off to at least a decent start to the season, Haseley is right there and would have probably won the starting Opening Day position, if not for his injury. It is worth mentioning that outfielder Matt Joyce (.873 OPS) has been told he will make the 26-man roster to start the season. Does he factor into centerfield playing time in some way?

If you thought this competition was going to end already, then you might have to wait. The bottom line is that this will end once Girardi figures out what the best option is. It could be a platoon, it could be an everyday starter. Only Girardi knows what could happen.