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Alec Bohm is out of the starting lineup for a fourth consecutive day. What gives?

Through six games, Alec Bohm has only 10 plate appearances. His last start came on April 11 against the Mets. He made three errors in three innings, but also reached base safely three times. He’s 4-for-6 with three walks. He’s not in the lineup for Friday’s game against the Marlins and right-hander Pablo López. While his performance on defense is enough to warrant pause on playing him every day, his bat has not been the issue. 

Alec Bohm’s last appeared in the Phillies starting lineup on Monday. (Cheryl Pursell)

Bohm embodies the Phillies roster conundrum. The plan is to outslug many of their deficiencies on defense. If there’s a place to trade thump for glove work, it’s the left side of the infield. Since Joe Girardi has not shown a willingness to cut into the veteran Didi Gregorius’ playing time, Bohm is usually the one left on the bench. 

It’s a reasonable debate to have. Bohm’s struggles at third base have been painful to watch. He likely won’t stick at the position long-term and the Phillies have plenty of other concerns on defense around the diamond. Including Bohm, the Phillies have six players who are candidates to occupy a DH role full time. It’s unlikely the Phillies trade Hoskins to accommodate Bohm, who can play first base. Something has to give. 

Maybe the Phillies part ways at some point with Gregorius, who is off to a 5-for-23 start. Both Gregorius and Bohm are equally bad fits on the roster, but at least Bohm has considerably more offensive upside and a pathway to a future with the Phillies. Gregorius, 32, is a free agent after this season.

When Bohm and Bryson Stott were both added to the roster, there was reportedly a mutual agreement between the manager and front office that there are enough at-bats to go around for the pair of former first-round picks. As of now, Bohm seems to be the odd-man out. Out of Stott, Didi Gregorius and Johan Camargo, the trio of players Girardi can play over Bohm, only Camargo, who is 6-for-14 so far this season, has performed better at the plate. 

To be clear: Platooning is not a bad idea. In 2021, Bohm’s OPS against lefties was over 200 points higher than against righties (.796 vs. .576). Girardi has also communicated a preference in the past to protect his young hitters. If there’s a tough left-handed starter on the mound, don’t expect Stott to be in the lineup. And while Bohm is still technically a young hitter, April is a crucial evaluation period for the 25-year-old. If there’s a time to challenge the former No. 3 overall pick and start him against a Max Scherzer or Sandy Alcántara, it’s now. 

“It’s kind of a tough balance,” Girardi said Friday morning during his weekly appearance on MLB Network Radio’s Power Alley. “He’s getting an at-bat every day. He got a couple the other day. We’re balancing it. We put him at first a little bit. I want to get him back out at third. Camargo is playing extremely well and the thing is, we got a lot of ground ball pitchers on our team, but I need to get him back out there and I understand that. We have a lefty going against us tomorrow, so he’s going to get a start somewhere tomorrow. I’m not quite sure where. It’s tricky, but we know he can have a huge impact on our team and we really love the work that he’s doing.” 

Here is the lineup for the second of four meetings with the Marlins this weekend at loanDepot Park.

  1. Kyle Schwarber, left field
  2. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Nick Castellanos, designated hitter
  5. Didi Gregorius, shortstop
  6. Johan Camargo, third base
  7. Bryson Stott, second base
  8. Garrett Stubbs, catcher
  9. Simón Muzziotti, center field


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Steve

    April 17, 2022 at 1:07 pm

    I think we are going to see a number of platoons this season
    Bohm may be the DH for a while as 3B SS 2B LF and CF all rotate
    Defensively. Joe has a plan and so far I like it. Pitching needs
    work for sure. Still early give them a chance to work on things.
    A little fine tuning to see what needs to be Tweaked, or Twisted

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