The shortened spring training and delay of the 2020 Major League Baseball season did not allow Joe Girardi to create what would have been his first Opening Day lineup for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Key players were not all healthy when baseball came to a halt in mid-March. Others did not get as much playing time as they or the club would have liked.
When (if?) the season finally does begin, whenever and wherever that may be, this would be my suggesting to the new Phillies skipper for his everyday lineup:
Roman Quinn, CF
Andrew McCutchen, LF
Jean Segura, 3B
Bryce Harper, RF
Rhys Hoskins, 1B
Scott Kingery, 2B
Didi Gregorius, SS
Pitcher (or DH)
An odd choice, maybe, to leadoff with Quinn. But I like his speed. If he can get on base with frequency, maybe bunt for a hit occasionally, Quinn would be a base-stealing threat right from the start.
McCutchen and Segura combine power and consistency as veterans who can put the ball in play. Harper would hit cleanup, with the pending free agent Realmuto behind him. Those two are perfect for these RBI spots in the batting order.
I’ve dropped Hoskins down to sixth to alleviate some pressure on the Big Fella. He made some changes to his batting stance during spring training, but last year was pretty brutal. I would certainly consider moving Hoskins up should he begin to produce with more consistency.
Kingery would be next, bringing some power to the bottom of the lineup. He would be followed by new shortstop Gregorius. I put ‘Sir Didi’ in the eighth spot only because of his injury in 2018 and the consequent surgery on his right elbow due to a UCL tear. That injury affected his performance, and the hope is for him to regain the swing he demonstrated during his best years in Yankees pinstripes.
Another thought is that the Designated Hitter position may be used more consistently or even (gasp), exclusively during this shortened season. Certainly if MLB chooses to realign their divisions, this will happen. In such a case, I would change my lineup suggestion as follows:
Jay Bruce, DH
Bruce still shows power and appears perfectly suited for a full-time DH role. Another possibility to consider would be platooning Adam Haseley with Quinn. Both have excellent speed. If all the players can stay healthy, this really should be a very good team. Whatever the lineup, I hope we get to see Girardi’s actual 2020 Opening Day choice soon.