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Pedro Florimon is hitting second for the Phillies for some reason

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Tonight’s lineup makes no sense.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, I posted a piece arguing that it’s time that Rhys Hoskins hit lower in the lineup until he’s out of his slump. Not surprisingly, manager Gabe Kapler’s Monday lineup had Hoskins hitting second and everything else almost exactly the same as it’s been for the past 50 games or so. He also said this.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s game thread, that’s an entirely defensible explanation. You obviously want one of your best hitters batting second, that’s just smart baseball. Of course, my argument is that until Hoskins gets out of his slump, he’s not one of the Phillies’ best hitters, but at this point we’re just splitting hairs.

Well, we were just splitting hairs until Tuesday’s lineup came out. Hoskins, who got hit in the face by a foul ball yesterday, is understandably taking the night off. With Hoskins out of the lineup, it’s the perfect opportunity to shift another player to the second spot, or to jumble things up entirely and see what comes out. Right? Right?

Apparently not, because that right there is a lineup with Pedro Florimon hitting second.

I’m really, really curious about the justification for this. What could the reasons behind that possibly be? Because Florimon is far from the team’s best hitter. I could throw some numbers at you right now, but I don’t even need to because you know it’s true. That’s not a knock on Pedro, because he’s a major leaguer and has a job and is hitting .268 in 61 plate appearances. He is who he is, but we also know what he’s not. Pedro Florimon isn’t anywhere near the caliber of hitter Hoskins is, even in a slump. He’s also not close to the hitter that Carlos Santana is, or Odubel Herrera, or maybe even Nick Williams. And yet there he sits in the second lineup spot.

If any of the beats ask Kapler about this, I’m sure he’ll have a an answer ready, and I’m eager to hear what it is. I don’t agree with Hoskins staying in the No. 2 spot, but it’s defensible, and the explanation that Kapler gave was more than reasonable. This, though? It’s like Hoskins’ name was erased from the lineup and Florimon was slotted in with no adjustments at all. Moving everyone up a spot in the lineup and slotting Florimon in seventh makes a lot more sense than just having him bat in what’s become Rhys’ spot.

I’m searching for a rational explanation for this and I can’t find one. Even something like “it’s just one game” doesn’t jive here, because the Phillies can’t afford to drop a single winnable game with the Braves being so good and the Nationals finally remembering how to play baseball. The Phillies are finally competitive, and unless the lineup is being used for pure experimentation, just plopping Florimon in second feels just a little bit like surrendering. Or worse, it feels like not caring, or like someone thinks it’s no big deal.

And maybe it’s not a big deal. Maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion, and the real, hard-nosed baseball guys on the Phillies think I’m an idiot for questioning it. But considering that Kapler is refusing to move Hoskins out of the second spot in the lineup and gave a detailed explanation as to why just a day ago, seeing Pedro Florimon there just 24 hours later feels, well, ridiculous and insane.

If you have any ideas about why Kapler is hitting Florimon second, literally any idea at all, please leave them in the comments.