Four Years After Pence Trade, Tommy Joseph Gets His Shot
With the Phillies five-year run coming to end, the Phillies sent Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants at the trade deadline in 2012.
In return, the Phillies received Nate Schierholtz, Seth Rosin, and Tommy Joseph. While Pence is a 2012 and 2014 World Series champion, Schierholtz and Rosin are gone from the Phillies organization, while Joseph had been dealing with concussions and a position change.
The key to the deal was Joseph, the Phillies were looking at the 20-year old as their catcher of the future.
While the Phillies empire was crumbling, the Giants prospered with Pence, causing Phillies fans to look at this deal has just another one-sided loss by former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., coming up empty in an attempt to rebuild the aging Phillies roster.
Injuries took away parts of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 for Joseph, he suffered multiple concussions and wrist injury that took away most of his 2014 season. After his 2015 concussion, his third, the Phillies decided to move him to first base.
Fast forward to 2016 where Joseph was hammering Triple-A pitching, the Phillies finally had the opportunity to see what they had in the now 24-year-old. After blasting a pair of home runs with four RBI against the Nationals on Friday, the Phillies have decided they have seen enough - Joseph needs to play more.
Joseph has been outstanding at the plate thus far, hitting.323 with seven homers and 12 RBI - his seven homers in 21 games is the fastest in team history.
His bat has forced Phillies manager Pete Mackanin to make a tough decision - nudging club icon Ryan Howard to the bench.
"I talked to him today and I told him I've got to go with Tommy Joseph right now," Mackanin told reporters before Friday's game. "I can't sit Tommy Joseph."
Mackanin said Howard took the news pretty low key, and said 'he didn't have a whole lot to say'.
"You can't argue about Tommy Joseph," the Phillies skipper added.
At this point how could he?
The numbers just don't add up for the former NL MVP - Joseph is making people forget the majestic blasts Howard once hit and giving them reason to believe he is the first baseman of the future.
Mackanin admitted he 'flat out doesn't like' having to sit Howard for what he has done for the organization over the years, but understands he just can't hold back the 24-year old anymore.
"I can't justify not playing the guy," Mackanin admitted. "This is another year where we are looking to the future and Tommy Joseph looks like he is going to be in the future."
As for how Howars will be used going forward, Mackanin says pinch hitting, spot starts here-and-there.
"I think he gets it and is dealing with it in his own way," Mackanin said. "It's a lot to deal with."
For now, opposing pitchers are going to have to deal with trying to figure out how to get Joseph out, like they did Howard for all those years. - but for the Phillies its just another example of the future starting now.