Philadelphia Phillies third base competition has a new entrant

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

A few days ago, there was some speculation about who would start on Opening Day for the Philadelphia Phillies at third base. Alec Bohm is coming off of a rough season and there was a belief that he could even get traded before the season began.

Two candidates to potentially replace him at third base were Johan Camargo and a much bigger free agent addition the Phillies made this winter, Nick Castellanos. Neither seemed all that likely to start over Bohm. Camargo is a bench player and Castellanos hasn’t played third base regularly for years. When he did, he wasn’t very good.

Bohm’s job as the Opening Day third base is still far from safe. Manager Joe Girardi has yet to commit to him. And now a new and more realistic entrant has entered the fray.

Add Bryson Stott to the Philadelphia Phillies’ third base competition.

Bryson Stott is 24, hitting well this spring, and now a serious contender to make the Opening Day starting lineup as the club’s third baseman. The team’s future shortstop can accelerate his major league debut by outplaying Bohm this spring.

Stott has played all over the infield down in the minor leagues with 399 games at shortstop and fewer than 20 at each other position. With Didi Gregorius still around, it could even make sense for the Phillies to move him to third base and allow Stott to give them innings at shortstop instead.

This doesn’t seem to be the plan right now. The Phillies appear willing to give Gregorius the Opening Day shortstop job in his attempt at bouncing back from a bad season of his own in 2021.

Stott already missed all of 2020 due to the minor league season getting canceled during the pandemic. It didn’t slow him down. He went from High-A up to Triple-A in 2021. It hit well at every level. At some point in 2022 he’s going to be on the Phillies.

What happens if Bryson Stott wins the Philadelphia Phillies’ third base job?

I’m torn on what is best for the Phillies. If they go with Stott at third base, they risk ruining Bohm’s confidence and may also push Stott too soon. There’s a way where it completely backfires on them.

On the other hand, going with Bohm over Stott merely to protect their feelings is weak. If a player can lose confidence so quickly, it’s going to happen regardless of whether or not he’s in the starting lineup. The Phillies need to have some caution with these young players. More importantly, they need to put the best roster together.

Handing the third base job to Camargo over Bohm made little sense. Signing Castellanos to play third base regularly over Bohm wasn’t something that would have benefitted the club much either. Stott versus Bohm is a completely different beast.

Hopefully, if Stott does win the job, this is simply the kick in the pants Bohm needed to get better. The third base job becomes open again once Stott moves over to third base. Bohm should get playing time this year. Right now, Stott may deserve it more.

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The best thing for the Phillies could be to let this competition unfold into the regular season. Expanded rosters for the first few weeks will allow them to experiment a little more. By then, maybe we’ll have a better idea of what both of these young players can do. And if both are playing well, there will be other opportunities at different positions for both to get regular playing time.