The big variable for Rob Thomson is what he will do when a lefty is on the mound. Thomson has shown time and time again that he likes to play the match ups with the opposing starting pitcher and stack the lineup. Throughout the year, he has sat Marsh (and sometimes Stott) against left-handed pitching. Could he do that in the wild card round?
If he does, the Phillies look to have two options in left field that they could turn to:
Cristian Pache, LF – Right-handed bat alternative
Pache has had an injury riddled season that has derailed any progress and momentum that he has made. At his best, he has shown flashes of figuring it out from the plate and shows a terrific glove in the outfield. But since he has come back from injury, in September, Pache has hit a lowly .091/.231/.382. It’s been tough sledding for him as of late. He is also a notoriously below average base runner. Although he has plus speed, he has only two stolen bases and he’s been caught three times. It would be difficult to insert him into a lineup for the entirety of the game with the way his bat has been going but can be a true asset as a defensive replacement in the late innings of the game.
Weston Wilson, LF – Right-handed bat alternative
Flying under the radar, the 29-year-old Wilson, had a terrific season in Lehigh Valley. In 2023, he joined the 30-30 club with 31 homeruns and 32 stolen bases. He had a 1.025 OPS against lefties in the minors and plays above average defense all over the field. He could provide the right-handed spark off the bench for this Phillies team, or they may even elect to insert him in the starting lineup against tough throwing left-handed pitchers.
Rob Thomson has an offense that is starting to hit its stride at the right time. He has many variations he could use and a lot of versatility. It will be interesting to see how he deploys the squad in a tough first series.