Coming Soon: Rhys Hoskins, Phillies Left-Fielder?
Lehigh Valley IronPigs first baseman Rhys Hoskins set the IronPigs' new home run record over the weekend, belting his 27th home run of the season. That bests the mark set by Andy Tracy in 2009. Unlike Tracy, who had brief call-ups with the Phillies in 2008 and 2009 and serves as Assistant Minor League Field Coordinator and Minor League Hitting Coordinator for the Phillies organization, Hoskins is on the way up through the system, rather towards the end of a playing career. So, the Phillies are going to be creative.
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Hoskins is going to play a position other than his usual first base:
Hoskins will play left field Monday night for the triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. It will be his 453rd career game in the minors and the first time he mans a position that is not first base. The last time he played in the outfield was in 2012 as a freshman at Sacramento State. He is still viewed by team officials as a first baseman, perhaps the starter there in 2018.
The news does not end there. According to Gelb, a promotion could be imminent, writing, "If the left-field experiment is not a disaster, the power-hitting prospect could be in the majors within a few days."
The left field position is currently open after the trade of Howie Kendrick to the Washington Nationals and the injury to left fielder Aaron Altherr. The move could be temporary, but Hoskins continues to demonstrate that he is deserving of playing time. Joseph, just three for his last 21, could lose playing time too, should Hoskins continue to struggle. Getting Hoskins onto the major league roster would be the first step.