Philadelphia Phillies: Should the team keep Rhys Hoskins? Or is it time to move on?

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Philadelphia Phillies
Aug 30, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Why the Philadelphia Phillies should look to move on from Rhys Hoskins.

To this point, the best way to sum up Hoskins’ career would be “pretty good.” Hoskins has been nothing special, he’s not a generational talent, and he’s not considered part of the elite talent at first base. He has been a solid offensive contributor every year since being called up, a solid defender, and a great clubhouse presence.

For some, however, and maybe even for the Phillies front office, these attributes won’t be enough to justify giving him a long-term contract, and they might end up choosing to either trade him or just let him walk in free agency.

But why would the Phillies let go of one of their better players? Here are three reasons why it could make sense:

Rhys Hoskins’ major hot and cold streaks may be the most glaring hole in Hoskin’s game. When Rhys is on fire, he has the ability to carry a team as much as anyone else in the league, but his cold streaks are some of the worst in baseball and can often last two weeks to a month at a time.

Another popular criticism of Rhys is that he plays well in games the Phillies win, but he completely disappears in losses, and some make the claim that Rhys is one of the team’s worst rally killers.

There is truth to support this argument, as well.

In wins, Hoskins is slashing .279/.361/.565 with 22 home runs and an tOPS+ of 127. In losses, however, he slashes .211/.310/.341 with 6 home runs and an tOPS+ of 64. Hoskins has the tOPS+ of Ty France in wins and the tOPS+ of Nicky Lopez in losses.

The depth of potential 1st base depth the Phillies have is another reason why some think it makes more sense for the Phillies to let Hoskins go rather than keep him. Hoskins’s only defensive position is 1st base; the Phillies once tried him out in the left field, but it went about as bad as you could imagine, so if the Phillies chose to keep Rhys, he is 1st base and 1st base only. This hurts Rhys when you think of the value you could get by moving some other players around to 1st base.

Alec Bohm continues to struggle at 3rd, and despite some minor improvement, it looks more and more like his day at the hot corner is numbered.

Kyle Schwarber could also benefit from moving from first base as his play in left is questionable. Moving to a less defense-first position could also improve his hitting.

J.T Realmuto is the man who could benefit the most if 1st base was to open up. He is an elite defender behind the plate, so it’s not a guarantee that the Phillies would ever want to move him, but they could save years of wear and tear on his legs by making a move in the 1st, and it could open the door for someone like Rafael Marchan to finally get a chance at catcher.

Maybe the most significant factor in this whole thing is the fact that Rhys has one year left of arbitration before entering free agency in 2024. If the Phillies wanted to trade Rhys, this offseason would be the perfect time to take advantage of his current contract situation and get the maximum return.

Right now, the Phillies are playing good team baseball at every level, and surprisingly the bullpen has been one of their strong points. The top of the rotation has been solid, and they have guys charging up the minors to replace the backend of the rotation.

What the Phillies organization is truly lacking is MLB quality hitter in their farm system. If the Phillies wanted to add a significant bat to their farm system, trading Rhys in the offseason might be the best way to do it.

The Phillies’ decision on Rhys Hoskins will be anyone’s guess; there is no wrong decision in this offseason. If they wanted to treat the 2023 season as a prove-it year before giving him a long-term contract, that would be the wisest thing to do.

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No matter what side of the fence one is on, fans should all appreciate Rhys Hoskins while he’s on this team. He has provided fans with many great memories, and he has been one of the best contributors to the team during their most crucial playoff push in over a decade.