With the 2020 season on hold for the foreseeable, we really don’t know if we will see any kind of baseball at all this year. A couple of recent ideas have been floated in Major League Baseball circles about potentially playing. One idea was to play the season out in Arizona using the spring training facilities. Another was to have all Grapefruit League teams play in their Florida stadiums and all Cactus League teams play in Arizona.
The most recent proposal that leaked out was to possibly play the season over in Japan. I don’t believe any of those options would work because that would mean the players would be away from their homes and families for too long. I just don’t think they would go for those options. So, who knows when, or if, we will actually have baseball in 2020.
All of this down time has had me thinking about what the Phillies potential lineup would be if we do have a baseball season. This would be the everyday Philadelphia Phillies 2020 batting order that I would suggest to manager Joe Girardi:
Andrew McCutchen hitting in the leadoff spot is a no-brainer. A huge part of the Phillies early success in 2019, ‘Cutch’ helped them win 33 games before his season was ended by an ACL injury and subsequent surgery. After he was knocked out the offense went downhill very quickly and never recovered.
Batting second would be Jean Segura, who provides the lineup an experienced contact hitter with a little pop. Aside from the fact that his fail to hustle was the sole reason for McCutchen getting hurt, Segura overall had a solid season offensively, hitting .280 with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs. Segura got himself in far better shape this past off-season and may be poised for a big year.
In the third spot is the $330 million dollar man, Bryce Harper, who played the bulk of the 2019 season hitting in the three-spot. During that first season with the Phillies, Harper hit .260 while blasting 35 home runs and driving in 114 runs. This spot makes the most sense for him.
Hitting in the cleanup spot will be Rhys Hoskins. He had a down year last season and has made some adjustments to his batting stance that hopefully will see him take the next step forward in his career development this year. Rhys’ abysmal 2019 had him rated as one of the worst hitters in the game. He is a real key. If Hoskins can somehow come close to replicating his 2017 season, he would lengthen this lineup considerably and also help the hitters ahead of and behind him.
In the fifth spot is the best catcher in baseball, J.T. Realmuto. He won the Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award in 2019, hitting 25 home runs, batting .275, and driving in 83 RBIs. He also is in the final year of his contract, which must be addressed soon.
In the sixth spot is newly acquired shortstop DiDi Gregorious. ‘Sir Didi’ is coming off an injury-marred down year after he had Tommy John surgery in 2018. He was never really able to get into a groove last year. Back in 2018 over 138 games he hit 27 home runs and had 86 RBIs before the surgery. Even in a down year in 2019 he produced a five-hit game with seven RBIs and a grand slam in Game 2 of the ALDS for the Yankees. If the Phillies can get that kind of production from him this team has a real shot at making the playoffs.
Hitting seventh will be second baseman Scott Kingery. I don’t have him higher because there really is no spot for him based on how I see the other hitters. He’s a solid offensive player and is finally finding a home at second base. Kingery might be able to settle down and see an offensive bump as he will not worry about where he is going to play each and everyday.
Finally, batting eighth is center fielder Adam Haseley. He is really the only viable option to play everyday in center field because the Phillies simply cannot count on Roman Quinn due to his injury history. I don’t think Odubel Herrera will be with the team after the fan reaction to his domestic violence arrest and suspension a year ago. I think Haseley deserves a shot at the job anyway. This may be the weakest part of the lineup since we really don’t know what we will get from Haseley as a full-time player.
Quinn might make a start every now and then to spell Haseley. Andrew Knapp will fill-in to rest Realmuto behind the plate. The one interesting kicker here could be Alec Bohm, the Phillies top position prospect. If Bohm is lighting it up in the minors to start the year, he could force his way on to the big-league club and he would have to play every day. That might cut Segura out of some playing time depending on how he is producing. But that is another issue for another day.