Phillies Will Start Tommy Joseph in Left Field on Tuesday
So far Phillies Spring Training has been one of players playing elsewhere besides their traditional positions. Catchers Nick Rickles, Matt McBride and Logan Moore have all played out of position, with all three seeing action at first base while McBride played some left field. Last night starting second baseman Cesar Hernandez started at shortstop and infielder Jesmuel Valentin spent some time in left field. Tuesday afternoon the Phillies will experiment some more.
This time it will be catcher-turned first baseman Tommy Joseph who will play a new position. Joseph, whose bat has been in Grapefruit League action rather regularly thus far, will start Tuesday's matinee against the Detroit Tigers in left field. This will be Joseph's first appearance in left field in professional ball.
Joseph spent five innings at third base for the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2015 and reportedly took ground balls there earlier in 2018 camp. Why Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana serving as the two primary first basemen on the major league roster, Joseph will have to demonstrate defensive versatility for the Phillies to consider keeping him on their roster. Joseph played 140 games at first base in 2017 as the club's primary first baseman.
Unfortunate circumstances have robbed Joseph of his natural position of catcher. Repeated concussions have made it unsafe for Joseph to continue catching. Had he been able to catch, his bat would have profiled just fine for the position. Instead, Joseph must demonstrate for the Phillies and other teams that he can be versatile.