The Phillies have announced they planned to go into the 2022 regular season with a platoon in center field. One half of the platoon, Odubel Herrera, is now injured and will not be ready to go for Opening Day on April 8th. Herrera, who was injured about a week ago, should be out for the next 3-5 weeks. With that, the Phillies are left with Mickey Moniak and Matt Vierling in center, both of whom I have advocated for in previous articles. So, Phillies, if you’re still listening to me, try Bryson Stott in center. Stott’s versatility only adds value to this club and it’s becoming clear he will be on the Opening Day roster. He just won’t be the starting shortstop. 

The argument that the Phillies broke Scott Kingery is ridiculous. Kingery’s swing is what caused his downfall. He was the worst hitter in the National League for three years before the Phillies finally realized he couldn’t recognize balls from strikes. Kingery played well in the field at every position. The defensive shifts didn’t help the pitching staff (mostly Jake Arrieta), but Kingery was reliable in the field. 

Giving Stott a few innings in center field can’t hurt. If he plays well, it’s another option in addition to third, short, and second he can play. I don’t expect him to be a gold glove caliber centerfielder, but considering he plays up the middle, he could be a fallback option in center. Moniak and Vierling haven’t shown a whole lot so far in their brief MLB careers. If either one struggles, they could be sent down and Stott could take their platoon half. 

If the Phillies gave Stott some time in center, the lineup could look like this:

  1. Schwarber, DH
  2. Segura, 2B
  3. Harper, RF
  4. Castellanos, LF
  5. Realmuto, C
  6. Hoskins, 1B
  7. Bohm/Camargo, 3B
  8. Gregorius, SS
  9. Stott/Moniak/Vierling, CF

Having two outfielders on the bench makes sense, the Phillies did it a lot last season. Joe Girardi also said if Stott makes the Opening Day roster, he will play. They won’t take him to keep him on the bench then bring him on to be a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. 

If they decide to keep him in the infield, he will most likely start the year at third base. The lineup would look like this:

  1. Schwarber, DH
  2. Segura, 2B
  3. Harper, RF
  4. Castellanos, LF
  5. Realmuto, C
  6. Hoskins, 1B
  7. Gregorius, SS
  8. Stott, 3B
  9. Moniak/Vierling, CF

In this lineup, Bohm wouldn’t make the Opening Day roster. Taking him, like Stott, to ride the bench, makes no sense. They should either give him the start at third or send him down. 

Another crazy thing the Phillies could do to maximize their offensive potential is this lineup:

  1. Schwarber, LF
  2. Segura, 2B
  3. Harper, CF
  4. Castellanos, RF
  5. Realmuto, C
  6. Hoskins, DH
  7. Gregorius, SS
  8. Bohm, 1B
  9. Stott, 3B

This lineup is very unlikely as the Phillies don’t view Harper as a centerfielder. I say very unlikely because we also saw them play five first basemen in a single game in the same lineup before. You can never be too sure about what Girardi is thinking at a given time. 

No matter how the lineup shakes out, Stott is almost guaranteed to not be the starting shortstop. If you add in the fact that isn’t a liability in centerfield, he adds value to the organization because they do that much more with him. If the goal is truly to get Stott innings and at-bats, he needs to be able to play up the middle at all three spots.

Photo by Cheryl Pursell

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