Phillies trying several outfield options at Spring Training

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ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 11: Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Edmundo Sosa (33) picks up a Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud (16) ground ball to end the game 1 of the NLDS between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadephia Phillies on October 11, 2022 at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia (Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to experiment with their fielding depth as we kickoff Spring Training. Manager Rob Thomson has shown that he enjoys when players can fill multiple roles, and we are seeing that in his first Spring Training as Manager. The Phillies are not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to roster flexibility.

Inside Out

The Phillies are giving two of their infielders a chance to get some extra training in the outfield. Edmundo Sosa and Darick Hall have both been seen working with Paco Figueroa in the outfield, and it was announced that Sosa would get some time in centerfield when exhibition games start. 

Edmundo Sosa proved in a short amount of time with the Phillies last season that he is an elite defender. Sosa played a pivotal role in the Phillies quest for the World Series and provided great depth off the bench. Edmundo caught the winning out in the NL Wild Card series coming off the bench to play for Alec Bohm. 

Sosa primarily played shortstop and third base with the Phils last season. He will now get a chance to play CF. Rob Thomson asked if he would be willing to give it a try and Sosa has been working hard in camp to get adjusted and ready for game action.

With Matt Vierling now in Detroit, the Phillies are looking to find their backup center fielder, and it very well may be Edmundo Sosa. 

Darick Hall has also been getting some outfield reps in this Spring Training. Hall has been getting work in the corner outfield and if I had to guess, might see some game action in leftfield once the Phillies start playing some games. Darick was primarily a designated hitter last season with the team, but he did get some time at first base. While Hall is not known for his defense, if he is able to add this to his repertoire, it could mean more playing time in 2023.

New Faces

While the news of Sosa and Hall trying the outfield has caught the attention of fans, there are a couple of new faces that could potentially win a spot on the bench for Opening Day. 

Veteran outfielder Jake Cave signed with the Phillies in the off-season and is expected to compete for the backup outfielder role for the team. Cave has spent 5 seasons with the Twins and hit for a .235/.297/.411/.708 shashline. Jake has the advantage over Sosa and Hall primarily because he is a natural outfielder. Cave can very easily find himself on the Opening Day roster if he has a strong camp and plays well in the Spring games.

Rookie Johan Rojas could be another new face that sees time with the Phillies in 2023. Rojas is currently the #5 prospect in the Phillies organization. Johan was added to the team’s 40-man roster this off-season as a way to prevent him from being Rule 5 eligible. Rojas has elite speed and can rival Trea Turner for the fastest player on the team in 2023. With the new rule changes and expanded bases, Johan’s speed could be a huge asset for manager Rob Thomson. While the young outfielder may need more seasoning in the minors, he could make an impact as soon as Opening Day for the Phillies.

Let the Phillies’ games begin

With the first Spring Training games set to start on Saturday, we will see the Phillies outfield competition begin. While each player will certainly get reps in-game, monitoring the competition will be something for fans to keep up with as Spring Training rolls along. 

Edmundo Sosa will most likely make the roster as an infielder anyways, but for the other players mentioned, a strong Spring can be the difference in wearing red pinstripes on Opening Day. Seeing Sosa in action, how Hall looks in left, if the veteran Cave plays well, or if the hot shot prospect can shine, the Phillies have plenty of options come Opening Day. The best man will win and the Phillies are primed to make another run at the World Series this season. 

John Adams/Icon Sportswire