Phillies 2024 Season Preview: INF Edmundo Sosa

According to projections, Sosa could be heading toward a drastic drop in playing time this season.

Philadelphia Phillies infielder Edmundo Sosa could be heading toward a drastic drop in playing time this season.
Philadelphia Phillies infielder Edmundo Sosa could be heading toward a drastic drop in playing time this season. / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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The next player in our Philadelphia Phillies 2024 Season Preview Series is infielder Edmundo Sosa.

Previous season previews: José AlvaradoAndrew BellattiAlec BohmConnor BrogdonNick CastellanosRodolfo CastroKody ClemensJake CaveDylan CoveySeranthony DomínguezDarick HallKolby AllardBryce HarperJeff HoffmanOrion KerkeringRafael MarchánBrandon MarshYunior MartéMichael MercadoMax CastilloNick NelsonAaron NolaLuis OrtizCristian PacheJ.T. RealmutoJohan RojasMichael RuckerWhit Merrifield, Cristopher Sánchez, Kyle Schwarber

We'll look back at Sosa's 2023 performance and then examine where he might end up this season using the popular Steamer and ZiPS projection systems, which can be found on FanGraphs.

Edmundo Sosa 2023 stats and 2024 projections

2023 Stats: 104 G, 300 PA, 10 HR, 30 RBI, 4 SB, 8 BB, .251/.293/.427, .719 OPS, 0.9 fWAR

2024 Steamer: 39 G, 154 PA, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 3 SB, 6 BB, .247/.295/.391, .687 OPS, 0.3 fWAR

2024 ZiPS DC: 39 G, 168 PA, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 3 SB, 6 BB, .247/.300/.390, .690 OPS, 0.6 fWAR

Edmundo Sosa 2024 season preview

In July 2022, Sosa was traded to Philadelphia from the St. Louis Cardinals. Since then, he has kept a lock on a solid bench role for the Phillies, bouncing around the infield.

In 2023, the infielder made 300 plate appearances and slashed .251/.293/.427 with a .719 OPS, but his patience at the plate waned a bit, with a 2.7 percent walk rate compared to a 24.7 percent strikeout mark.

As it was last year, heading into 2024, Sosa's role is projected to be as a fill-in infielder and bench presence.

On Feb. 28, Sosa was scratched from a scheduled start in spring training because of a left foot contusion, but since then, he has returned to action, with the injury appearing to be nothing serious.

As competition for Opening Day roster spots heats up, Sosa is off to a slow start. In a small spring training sample size, heading into Sunday, Sosa is slashing .091/.167/.091 with an OPS of .258, one hit, one walk and four strikeouts in 12 plate appearances across four games.

A new face in the clubhouse might eat into this playing time, but Sosa will still be a valuable part of the bench for the Phillies this year.

A defensive rebound could be in the cards for Sosa

Heading into 2023, Sosa's defense was a positive. Across 31 games at third base, in particular, he had a perfect fielding percentage. In 82 games at third last year, though, his perfect streak ended, as he committed 11 errors and put up a .946 fielding percentage.

Overall, FanGraphs has his Def ranking (defense fielding and positional adjustment combined, above average) projected to climb back to 3.1, which is still lower than his career-best mark of 7.0 in 2022 but an improvement over the 1.7 he put up last year.

For comparison, Alec Bohm's ranking is projected to be -3.6, so the club could still be looking at Sosa every so often as a defensive upgrade at third base.

The right-handed hitter isn't a power-hitter, though his 10 home runs last season were a career high, and his batting average is projected to stay about where he was, with both Steamer and ZiPS DC projecting a slight dip to .247.

To set himself apart, Sosa will need his glove to come through for him during the rest of spring training and into the season. Based on the current depth chart, though, his defensive ability could be a moot point.

Sosa is projected to be heading for a steep cut in playing time

In 2023, Sosa was the main go-to option to spell Bohm at third, but he also filled in for Bryson Stott at second and Trea Turner at shortstop. Overall, he saw action in 104 games, with the majority of his playing time coming at third, where he suited up for 82 games.

Facing more competition on the bench this year, both Steamer and ZiPS DC have the 27-year-old slated for 39 games in 2024, with his plate appearances roughly being cut in half (168 for ZiPS and 154 for Steamer).

Who might be his main competition? Newly signed utilityman Whit Merrifield.

Merrifield is projected to see action in 87 games and log 300-plus plate appearances. While he'll likely see the majority of those opportunities in the outfield, he's going to get the call over Sosa at second base more often than not.

To the surprise of some fans, he's also spent time in spring training putting in work at third base. On Saturday against the Minnesota Twins, he logged some time at the hot corner.

Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia relayed earlier comments from Merrifield about adjusting to the position: "I played there in college and some early on. As far as the footwork and the fielding, there's no problem there, it's just needing a couple days of a lot of reps over there to get familiar with that throw again."

Regardless, Merrifield will bounce around the diamond to fill many roles, and there will still be plenty of opportunities for Sosa, who is projected to make the Opening Day roster.

Don't expect Sosa's roster spot to be in jeopardy, even with the slow start to spring training and other players capable of playing the infield putting on a show. While he'll likely see a cut in field time with how the current roster is constructed, fans will still see plenty of Sosa on the left side of the infield.

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