Phillies

Phillies to play Rhys Hoskins more at first base, Jorge Alfaro at catcher

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Phillies to play Rhys Hoskins more at first base, Jorge Alfaro at catcher

With 19 games remaining in the season, the Phillies have shifted even deeper into an evaluation/development mode.

It was reflected in Pete Mackanin's lineup for Monday night's series opener against the Miami Marlins.

Mackanin unveiled what could be next year's opening day outfield with Odubel Herrera in center, Aaron Altherr in left and Nick Williams in right.

He gave J.P. Crawford his first look at second base.

And Jorge Alfaro was behind the plate with Rhys Hoskins at first base. Alfaro has recently begun to cut into catcher Cameron Rupp's playing time and Hoskins will start to cut into first baseman Tommy Joseph's.

"I want see Alfaro as much as I can," Mackanin said. "I'll get him the bulk of the reps [at catcher].

"And Hoskins will play more first base now that Altherr is back in the mix. I spoke to Tommy and he understands. We want to see Altherr, and Hoskins, we want to see him at first base."

Hoskins is a first baseman by trade. Since coming up from Triple A, he has gotten most of his reps in left field, which was convenient with Altherr on the disabled list. Altherr returned to the lineup on Sunday and will now push Hoskins to his natural position — the position he is expected to play on opening day next season.

Crawford is merely getting a look at second base. It's a way to get him at-bats without completely disrupting Freddy Galvis' season. Crawford is still considered the Phillies' shortstop of the future. Galvis, second baseman Cesar Hernandez, Joseph and Rupp could all be shopped for trades this winter as the Phillies continue to rebuild and transition. Second baseman Scott Kingery will likely be part of that transition, but, for future control reasons, probably won't be considered for a call-up until a month or so into next season.

Six-man rotation coming
Pitcher Henderson Alvarez was in the Phillies’ clubhouse, in uniform, before Tuesday night's game. Alvarez was recently signed by the Phils after a stint with the independent Long Island Ducks. He finished the season with Triple A Lehigh Valley and will be added to the big-league roster in the coming days. Mackanin said Alvarez would likely pitch on Sunday as the Phils finish the season with a six-man rotation. The Phils want to get a look at Alvarez and shave a few innings off their starters as the season winds down.

Alvarez, 27, was an All-Star with Miami in 2014 before his career was derailed by a shoulder injury.

Gabe Kapler and Giants make historic coaching hire with Alyssa Nakken

Gabe Kapler and Giants make historic coaching hire with Alyssa Nakken

With all of the chaos currently consuming the league, it may have been overlooked that the Giants and Gabe Kapler have made a historic coaching hire.

Alyssa Nakken has been named one of Kapler's assistant coaches. She will be the first woman on a major-league coaching staff.

Can anyone say girl power?

Nakken is also a chairperson for the Giants' Employee Resource Group. This group promotes diversity and equality within the organization.

And as a female, with her intelligence and determination and hunger and drive to excel — I understand some of her responsibility is keeping her fingers on the pulse of the culture — it’s invaluable. She’ll broaden the scope and perspective, and I applaud Gabe for doing this.

-Kathy Strahan, Nakken's former coach in an interview for the San Francisco Chronicle

This is a moment that could change the mold of the league in the new decade.

Women belong in sports and are here to stay. And this single hire has the potential to open numerous doors in the future for both the league and anyone who wants to be a part of it.

You can read more about the hire and get to know Nakken at the San Francisco Chronicle.

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After 29 other teams pass, Phillies send Odubel Herrera to minor leagues

After 29 other teams pass, Phillies send Odubel Herrera to minor leagues

As expected, Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera quickly cleared waivers on Thursday. He has been assigned outright to Triple A.

Herrera was designated for assignment on Tuesday. The move immediately removed him from the Phillies’ 40-man roster and cleared a spot for outfielder Nick Martini, who was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati.

Herrera, 28, was involved in a domestic abuse incident in New Jersey in May. Though legal charges were eventually dropped, he served an 85-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s policy against domestic violence. As a matter of procedure, he was reinstated to the 40-man roster in November, but that hardly assured his future with the club, even though he is signed through 2021 and owed $20 million.

When Major League Baseball and the Players Association forged its joint policy on domestic violence, both sides agreed that a player violating the policy could not be punished by being released or having his contract voided.

On Tuesday, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said there were “sound baseball reasons,” for removing Herrera from the roster. He pointed to Herrera’s inconsistency and struggles last season and the fact that the Phillies had added outfielders Jay Bruce and Adam Haseley to the roster after Herrera’s suspension.

“The construction of our outfield now is very different than it was last spring when Odubel was first suspended,” Klentak said.

The Phillies plan to give Haseley a shot to win the starting centerfield job in spring training. He will be pushed by Roman Quinn.

Herrera could very well be on his way out of the organization, but he’s not there yet. He is expected to report to minor-league spring training camp, where he will continue to collect his full salary while working toward regaining a role with the big-league team or trying to catch the eye of a team that might be interested in trading for him. So far, there has been no trade interest. 

Participating in minor-league camp does not ensure that Herrera will be with a Phillies’ minor-league club during the regular season. He can still be released at any time, as long as the Phillies establish that the move is for baseball reasons, as they did earlier this week when they designated him for assignment.

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