By Dylan MacKinnon
The Phillies have a lot of holes to fill. They desperately need a center fielder, given the ones they have cant hit, and some cant even field the position. With Zach Eflin injured (again), Ranger Suarez banged up, and Kyle Gibson pitching poorly, they probably need a starting pitcher. And despite the bullpen actually being on a really good run, they probably need another good bullpen arm. But what you can’t do is trade away a player producing for you to get those things. This is why all the talk from some people about trading Rhys Hoskins for a starter, or someone else, would be a mistake.
Rhys Hoskins might be your best hitter right now. It is between him and Kyle Schwarber, and no one else is even close. Nick Castellanos and JT Realmuto have struggled. Jean Segura and Bryce Harper are hurt. Alec Bohm has no power. And Didi Gregorius plus whoever they put in centerfield have been terrible. Schwarber and Hoskins are carrying this offense. They are not only the hottest players on this team, but they are two of the hottest hitters in the whole league. Both have an OPS over 1.000 over the last 30 days. Hoskins has been on a tear. in his last 30 days, he has 9 HRs, and a slash line of .320/.425/.680/1.105.
The Big Fella.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 5, 2022
Congrats to Rhys Hoskins on being named the N.L. Player of the Week! pic.twitter.com/r3KI3kfyny
He has more than stepped up in Harper’s absence. He has made himself indispensable. Without him, who would even be your 2nd best hitter? Hopefully, Nick Castellanos will wake up, but we haven’t seen it yet. JT Realmuto has been hitting better of late, but he does not have the same power as Hoskins does. Harper won’t be back for at least a couple of weeks after the trade deadline. So while his return would mitigate losing Hoskins, you’d have to go a few weeks missing that power bat. With how tight this wildcard race is, you can’t afford to lose Hoskins. Even if he brought back another top-end starter, it may not outweigh the impact he has in this lineup.
Some may say let Darick Hall play first. The problem there is Hall cant hit lefties. He hasn’t faced a lefty yet in the majors, and that’s because his numbers vs them in the minors are bad, real bad. He slashed .188/.257/.344/.601 vs lefties so far this season with the Iron Pigs. Unless something changes for him, he is not going to be a full time starter at this level.
Now in the off-season, it may make more sense. He will be due a contract soon. You could maybe move JT Realmuto to first base, and call up top prospect Logan O’Hoppe to play catcher. It’s a move JT Realmuto may eventually need to make anyway, given that other players like Buster Posey and Joe Mauer did so as well in the past. But right now, they just cannot afford to lose Hoskins’ bat. They are too shorthanded along the lineup right now. If you lose Rhys Hoskins, the production of this lineup would plummet. They need him.