Phillies

Only 1 team left in Phillies' way if their guy is Joe Girardi

Only 1 team left in Phillies' way if their guy is Joe Girardi

One of the only two other logical openings for Joe Girardi has been filled. David Ross will be named the Cubs’ next manager, according to multiple reports, first from NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan

It was viewed as Ross’ job to lose from the day the regular season ended. The Cubs also interviewed Girardi and Gabe Kapler. 

With the Cubs job off the board, the two spots for Girardi are with the Phillies or Mets. The Mets have interviewed Girardi and a slew of other candidates, mostly without big-league experience. The Phillies have interviewed only three: Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker twice apiece. 

Girardi is the overwhelming fan preference in Philadelphia. While Showalter and Baker have had plenty of regular-season success, they don’t have a ring like Girardi and that ring resonates. Familiarity from the 2009 World Series between the Phillies and Girardi’s Yankees certainly plays a role. 

Girardi told WFAN’s Mike Francesa Tuesday that he expects a decision soon. He said he felt good about each of his three interviews and that while a team is not supposed to announce a hiring on the day of a World Series game, he may have an idea before it concludes. 

Thursday and Monday stick out as potential days for the Phillies to make an announcement. Those are the only two days until Halloween without a World Series game scheduled. That schedule would obviously change if the Nationals or Astros wrap it up by Game 4 Saturday or Game 5 Sunday. 

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A simpler approach could get Rhys Hoskins to the future slugger we envisioned

A simpler approach could get Rhys Hoskins to the future slugger we envisioned

The Phillies finally got their slugger of the future.

That’s what Phillies fans and many people around the game were thinking after Rhys Hoskins became the fastest player in MLB history to slug 18 career home runs, accomplishing the feat in 34 games. Hoskins set the mark in a win against the Miami Marlins on September 14th, 2017 and you can relive it today on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

That home run off of former Phillie Vance Worley would also be the last of Hoskins’ rookie campaign. In the two seasons that have followed since, Hoskins has hit a more-than-respectable 63 total home runs. But his slugging percentage dropped in each season since 2017, going from .618 SLG as a rookie to .454 SLG in 2019.

So, where does Hoskins go from here? It would be overly critical to question whether Hoskins will be a one-year wonder. He has posted solid, if not spectacular, power numbers since that first season. But he also hasn’t been anywhere near the conversation for best power hitters in the National League either.

Here’s a reason for optimism: As much as he said the right things, my sense is that Hoskins was negatively impacted by the launch angle, pitch-taking mindset set forth as dogma by the Gabe Kapler regime. Hoskins already possesses those tendencies naturally. Adding more thought to the equation led to plate paralysis. As walks increased, production diminished from a player that this franchise is counting upon to create runs. With Joe Girardi and hitting coach Joe Dillon at the helm, there’s reason to think we’ll see Hoskins get back to “see ball, hit ball” mode.

It also can’t hurt to have a full season under his belt with Bryce Harper. While the two have a good relationship, it couldn’t have been easy to go from leading man to best supporting actor status. That dynamic should come more comfortably for Hoskins in the seasons ahead.

Who knows what the 2020 season will look like? Or if we’ll even have a season? But my bet is that Hoskins figures it out and puts together a 40 home run season in the not-too-distant future.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Shane Victorino joins to talk some ball

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Phillies Talk podcast: Shane Victorino joins to talk some ball

A special guest joined the Phillies Talk podcast Friday: former Phillies All-Star and World Series champion Shane Victorino.

• Victorino on the sports shutdown

• His love of Philly, the fans and how they embraced him

• Why Philly made such a difference in his life

• The confidence that Charlie Manuel and Gene Lamont gave him

• Shane on his famous walk-off outfield assist

• Victorino's 40-yard dash vs. Troy Polamalu

• Victorino on Bryce Harper

• His message to Phillies fans

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