Almost nightly for the past week or so, Phillies manager Joe Girardi has spoken glowingly about the way Rhys Hoskins is swinging the bat and producing runs.
Girardi loves the way Hoskins is driving the ball to all parts of the field.
But while Girardi loves what he’s seeing with Hoskins’ swing lately, he still believes what the numbers tell him.
That’s why Hoskins was not in the starting lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Nationals.
Girardi pointed to the fact that the Phillies, starting Thursday, will play 28 games in 25 days. He said he wanted to give Hoskins a rest because it might be his last one for a while.
But the numbers suggest that there was more to Girardi’s decision than just rest.
Hoskins is 0 for 17 with 10 strikeouts lifetime against Max Scherzer, Washington’s starter Wednesday night.
That made it a convenient time to give Hoskins a rest – though the rest might not last long. Hoskins would surely be available off the bench.
After a slow start, Hoskins has been on fire recently at the plate. He is hitting .325 with eight doubles, six homers, 17 RBIs and a 1.115 OPS in his last 21 games. He has five homers in his last eight games and four straight multi-hit games.
Over a 12-game span, Hoskins has raised his batting average from .200 to .269. His .433 on-base percentage ranks seventh in the majors.
With Hoskins out, Didi Gregorius moved to the second spot in the batting order. Switch-hitter Neil Walker got the start at first base.
Andrew McCutchen LF
Didi Gregorius SS
Bryce Harper DH
J.T. Realmuto C
Jay Bruce RF
Jean Segura 2B
Alec Bohm 3B
Neil Walker 1B
Adam Haseley CF
Zack Wheeler P