Ben Revere will be in left and Odubel Herrera will be in center defensively against the Red Sox on opening day. With the news that Dominic Brown will start the season the DL, the Phillies are left without a clear-cut favorite to play right field.
So, who will start in right field on opening day? Here are the Phillies’ options.
1. Jeff Francoeur: Francoeur has been Ryne Sandberg’s go to guy in right field so far this spring, and leads all Phillies outfielders with 10 games started in right. Dominic Brown is second with nine games started, but being on the DL eliminates him as an option. Francoeur has had a dismal spring offensively, batting only .189 with zero home runs and two RBIs. Defensively, he has been solid, and showed off his notoriously strong arm from right against the Yankees last week. In his career defensively, Francoeur has started 1,162 games in right field and has a .984 fielding percentage. Offensively, he has a career .262 batting average with 140 HRs and 619 RBIs.
2. Brian Bogusevic: Bogusevic has opened some eyes with a solid spring offensively, batting .306 with three HRs and eight RBIs. The 31-year-old is has started five games, but has played 19 games in right field this spring and has a .955 fielding percentage. In his career, Bogusevic has played 980 innings in right field and has six errors, 14 outfield assists, and a fielding percentage of .976. Bugosevic has lacked consistency with the bat throughout his career, and hit only .203 in 146 games with the Astros back in 2012. In his career, he has a .236 average with 17 HRs, 62 RBIs, and a .370 slugging percentage.
3. Grady Sizemore: Back in his heyday, Sizemore patrolled center field for the Indians. He didn’t start a game in right field until last season, where he started 25 games. 11 of those 25 starts came with the Phillies. In those 25 starts, Sizemore has a .977 fielding percentage. However, Sizemore has only seen one start in right field this spring. Like Francoeur, Sizemore has had a terrible spring offensively with a .158 average and a .273 OBP. Sandberg’s willingness to use Sizemore right last season could indicate that he will see some time in right, especially with Brown slated to miss a week or more due to injury.
4. Jordan Danks: Danks has played 30 innings in right this spring for the Phillies, and has a perfect fielding percentage in limited action. Danks has played 151 total innings in right in his career, and has a perfect fielding percentage and one assist. Danks has been average offensively this spring, with a .250 batting average, one HR, five RBIs and a respectable .357 OBP. In his career, the 28-year-old has a .227 batting average with a .303 OBP and a .326 slugging percentage.
Out of these four, Francoeur could be the favorite for his strong arm, and the fact that the Phillies are very left-handed heavy in their lineup, with Carlos Ruiz and the switch-hitting Freddy Galvis as the only hitters from the right side of the plate.
However, Francoeur could find himself starting the season in the minors due to his struggles offensively. If that’s the case, then Bugsevic would be my second choice given his success at the plate this spring.