The Philadelphia Phillies have a significant gap at first base. Rhys Hoskins was lost for the year after tearing his ACL chasing down a ground ball. Then Darick Hall was lost for two months when he tore a ligament in his right thumb. Kody Clemens may be interesting as a utility man, but he is miscast as an everyday player, especially at first base. The Phillies need to find an answer.
This is something that the Phillies were aware of. Nick Castellanos had volunteered to take grounders as first in an attempt to help learn the position. As he is the modern day Dr. Strangeglove in the outfield, a move to first could make sense. However, that has not yet happened.
Bryce Harper a possible temporary answer for Philadelphia Phillies at first
But now a new possibility has entered the chat. According to Matt Gelb of The Athletic, Bryce Harper is going to learn first base. He approached manager Rob Thomson with the idea of learning first base, hoping that such a move could get him back on the diamond quicker as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Harper is not expected back until the end of May as it is. He will be limited to the designated hitter role when he does return as he will not be able to make the throws from the outfield. While the likes of Shohei Ohtani proved that one can still hit during the recovery period, such a move would continue to weaken the Phillies’ defense.
First base could be the perfect solution. Harper would still need to make some throws, but they would not have the same level of intensity. Likewise, the Phillies could slot Castellanos or keep the equally defensively challenged Kyle Schwarber in the DH spot. Harper would not only strengthen the lineup, but he could help the Phillies’ defense simply by allowing them to slot someone else in the designated hitter role.
The Philadelphia Phillies need to find an answer at first base for the next few months. Bryce Harper could be the right candidate for the position.