4 next moves Phillies need to make after signing Whit Merrifield

After inking Whit Merrifield, it's time for the Phillies to keep things rolling before Opening Day!

What else do the Philadelphia Phillies need to do after signing Whit Merrifield?
What else do the Philadelphia Phillies need to do after signing Whit Merrifield? / David Berding/GettyImages
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4. The Phillies should make sure Merrifield plays every day

Prior to the signing of Merrifield, the Phillies appeared to have their everyday lineup pretty much set with J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm, Trea Turner, Bryson Scott, Bryce Harper manning the infield, and Brandon Marsh, Johan Rojas, and Nick Castellanos covering the outfield, with Kyle Schwarber taking over the DH duties.

Now, with the addition of Merrifield, it could complicate things. Does Merrifield get a starting gig, or should he be the team’s super-sub utilityman off the bench?

It seems harsh to alter what was already working for the Phillies last season, but to maximize Merrifield’s value and give the team the best chance at winning, he needs to be in the lineup every day. As a three-time All-Star, Merrifield has shown that he can get things done on the field, at the plate, and on the basepaths.

It’s easy to forget that he twice led the American League in hits, and thrice in stolen bases as well. With the capability of putting up close to 90 runs scored, 40 doubles, double-digit home runs, 70 RBI and 30 stolen bases while maintaining a solid batting average above .280  per season over a 162-game pace, you don’t leave a weapon like that out of the lineup at any time.

Last year, he put his doubters to bed by showing that he still has lots left in his game when he batted .272 with 66 runs scored, 27 doubles, 11 home runs, 67 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 145 games.

If Marsh isn’t ready to start the season on Opening Day, Merrifield should get one of the outfield spots. When Marsh makes it back or if he is good to go for Opening Day, manager Rob Thomson will need to find a way to keep Merrifield in the lineup, whether in the infield, outfield or at DH.

No matter what, they shouldn't waste his skills and talent on the bench, except on his rest days. Therefore, expect a lot of flex and rotational moves throughout this upcoming season by Thomson to ensure that the Phillies have the best possible lineup each day, with Merrifield being an integral part.

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