What sort of impact can new Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long and infield coach Bobby Dickerson have on Alec Bohm?
It's a huge question for the Phillies and it was one of the main topics of Wednesday's Phillies Talk podcast.
The 25-year-old Bohm endured a trying sophomore season in 2021, hitting just .247/.305/.342 with seven home runs in 417 plate appearances. Bohm committed 15 errors at third base, the most by any National League third baseman. Austin Riley, who was next with 14 errors, played 493 more innings at third base than Bohm, who played himself off the field and started just two of the Phillies' final 40 games.
Joe Dillon and Juan Castro were let go after the season as the Phillies' hitting and infield coaches. The hope is that new voices and new approaches could help Bohm recapture some of the success he had as a rookie in 2020 and as a minor-leaguer progressing through the Phillies' system with his bat.
The Phillies desperately need a homegrown position player to become not just a regular but a valuable everyday player -- something like the offensive equivalent of Ranger Suarez, whose production on a league-minimum salary is crucial for a team so close to the luxury tax.
We also discussed the outfield possibilities for the Phillies through free agency or trade: Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, Michael Conforto, Cedric Mullins, Kevin Kiermaier. The Phillies have gaping holes in left field and center field and the center field market is not plentiful. Conforto and Castellanos would cost the Phillies their second-round pick because they were extended the qualifying offer; Schwarber would not.
From a national perspective, we analyzed the early stages of the league's negotiations with the players' association. The sides are scheduled to meet Thursday for the first time since the lockout began nearly six weeks ago.
And after months of chatter about the NL East, we addressed a couple of situations out West -- the potential for Gabe Kapler's Giants to repeat as division-winners after a franchise-record 107 wins in 2021, and the one team in baseball that has a longest postseason drought than the Phillies.
Check it all out above.