As happy as he is to be getting back to his natural position of first base, Rhys Hoskins is sad to see his friend Carlos Santana go.
"You establish relationships with guys," Hoskins said Thursday night. "Guys help you out tremendously and then all of a sudden you're not teammates anymore. It's part of the business, the nature of the beast, but Carlos was a tremendous presence in our clubhouse and a productive player."
Santana was traded to Seattle along with J.P. Crawford earlier this week. The move was two-pronged. In addition to getting back Jean Segura, a sound defensive shortstop who will provide a big offensive boost out of that position, the Phillies opened a spot at first base for Hoskins as Santana moved on after one season with the club.
Though Hoskins played a little bit of outfield in college, he is mostly a first baseman. The left field experiment of 2018 did not go well and he's happy to be back at his natural position.
"I'm excited to be moving back to the dirt," Hoskins said. "Obviously there's a bit more comfort there and hopefully that makes us as a team better as a whole.
"There are a lot of details that go into playing the outfield, just as there are details that go into playing the infield, that I wasn't comfortable with yet."
He won't have to worry about those details now. Playing first base is second nature to him and he can focus on infield-specific drills this winter.
Like everyone else in baseball, Hoskins is paying close attention to the moves that the Phillies are making this winter. He is eager to play with Segura and wonders who else is coming — Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Michael Brantley?
"It's hard not to pay attention to it, especially with some of the names that are in this free-agent class, a lot of good players," Hoskins said. "We've already seen some star players on the move.
"One thing I have learned in my short time in baseball is that once you think you know what's going to happen, you don't, so we'll see.
"I know the front office and ownership wants to win so that's exciting to be a part of."
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