Trea Turner leads off in first spring training game with Phillies


CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Five Phillies regulars are in the lineup Sunday afternoon in their second home game of the spring.

And yes, it's Trea Turner in the leadoff spot in his first Grapefruit League appearance with the Phils.

1. Trea Turner, SS

2. Kyle Schwarber, DH (L)

3. J.T. Realmuto, C

4. Nick Castellanos, RF

5. Bryson Stott, 2B (L)

6. Johan Rojas, CF

7. Jim Haley, 1B

8. Vimael Machin, 3B (L)

9. Carlos De La Cruz, LF

Turner's spot in the Phillies' lineup has been a hot topic since the day he signed his 11-year, $300 million contract. He's led off in just under 60 percent of his career plate appearances in the majors. He's one of the fastest and best baserunners in baseball and he's hit .316 with a .364 on-base percentage the last three seasons. 

Simply put, Turner is one of the most ideal, if not the most ideal leadoff hitter in all of baseball.

Manager Rob Thomson is leaning toward leading Turner off. Given his preference to split up left-handed and right-handed hitters when possible, the Turner, Schwarber, Realmuto 1-2-3 could be what we see regularly in the first half of the season as the Phillies await Bryce Harper's return from Tommy John surgery. 

Schwarber loves leading off and was in that spot in 123 of his 153 starts last season. He hit 38 homers out of the leadoff spot and nine to begin games, including two in the playoffs. He demonstrated how valuable it is to jump on a team immediately. But he also had just a .317 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot.


Schwarber has actually performed better in the two-hole throughout his career. He's hit .240/.358/.507 batting second compared to .224/.320/.520 leading off. 

"(Leadoff) is where I was most comfortable my whole life and early on in my career, for sure," Turner said last week. "The last few years, I've moved around a lot and gotten more comfortable with 2 and 3. But yeah, leadoff helps me kind of be a more dangerous player, use my speed more and help the team. I always talk about scoring runs, I don't care how you score them whether it's stolen bases, doubles, homers. Being in the leadoff spot, that's my job, score runs. That's what I'm going to try to do."