Odd Men Out on the Phillies

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Franco’s Last Chance Could Spell the End for Joseph in Philly. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images.
Franco’s Last Chance Could Spell the End for Joseph in Philly. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. /

Competition and talent are the determining factors for available opportunities: They will reveal the when, the where and the why to general manager Matt Klentak of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Decisive Boundaries: 

In many situations, parameters limit our choices as if they are a physical barrier blocking our passage to the other side.

If you want to know which players won’t be regulars in 2018, look at their opportunities and their days in limbo prior to activation from disabled list. For instance, Andrew Knapp‘s DL stint was to end on Aug. 28 (21 days), but it lasted until Sept. 12 without any reported setbacks or statements. And he’s started only three of 15 contests after that two-week gap extended his time on the disabled list. Meanwhile, Tommy Joseph has been a pinch hitter in three of his last five games.

While many fans believe trading is an easy solution, Klentak has a numbers crunch. Translation: The reason three MiLB middle relievers with mid-90’s smoke are pitching frequently this month is for the GM to decide their status regarding a 40-man spot. Or exposing them to the Rule 5 Draft. But acquiring more Single-A prospects not needing a roster slot for a first baseman or a catcher isn’t an attractive alternative either. And the exec will have plenty of competition this offseason for a southpaw starter, a front-of-the-rotation arm and/or a left-handed hitter with power. Mission: Somewhat possible.

On the Internet, one local recently envisioned Maikel Franco at short and Manny Machado manning the hot corner. However, while Machado won’t be a free agent until after ’18, Freddy Galvis and J.P. Crawford are better shortstops. Another poster wondered if Joseph because of his arm could handle third base. Well, management is favoring Franco over Joseph for the additional pop behind Rhys Hoskins. Lastly, one fan commented that giving Knapp any starts is an attempt by McStupid – his name for skipper Pete Mackanin – to reach 100 losses. Yes, this local has already decided Knapp’s fate.

After evaluating Franco and Joseph, the front office decided Franco is worth one more year to realize his potential. Basically, the third sacker is the Phils’ version of Machado; however, Franco only needs to meet their expectations and not match Baltimore’s star. But if Franco isn’t successful, Klentak will probably pursue Machado.

On the other infield corner, Hoskins has earned the job,  Basically, the red pinstripes will celebrate Opening Day with Odubel Herrera (3), Hoskins (4), Nick Williams (5) and Franco or Aaron Altherr (6) if they don’t acquire a left-side bat with 25-30 homer potential. Of course, Herrera and Williams are interchangeable depending on the opposition, their recent performances and ABs against a particular hurler. The keys here are Williams and Franco.

"FOOD FOR THOUGHT:     “Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.” – Confucius"