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Is this the best Phillies lineup with Trea Turner in it?

On the latest Hittin’ Season podcast, we discuss the optimal Phillies lineup with their new shortstop in it!

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Three Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Trea Turner is a Phillie.

Take it in. Soak in the bubbles.

For a team that has not had an All Star shortstop since Jimmy Rollins in 2005 (although he did win the MVP in ‘07!), the Phillies now have one of the best in the game, a player who consistently hits for a high average, gets on base, slugs dingers on a regular basis, steals a ton of bags and plays an above average defense.

It’s rare you find a player whose skillset and experience aligns so perfectly with what you need, but it was universally accepted by the baseball community that Turner was the ideal candidate to play one of the most important positions on the diamond.

He’s a Phillie for the next 11 years.

Sure, the back end of that deal, like the Harper contract, could be ugly, but who cares? The Phillies have a World Series window open right now, and perhaps for only a couple years more. And at least one well known baseball scribe thinks Turner is one of those players that will age very well into his mid-30s.

Now comes the fun part... imagining where to put him in a lineup that will be among the most loaded in baseball when Harper returns from his elbow surgery.

I see two potential lineups. The first...

  1. Trea Turner (SS)
  2. Bryce Harper (RF/DH)
  3. J.T. Realmuto (C)
  4. Kyle Schwarber (LF/DH)
  5. Nick Castellanos (RF/DH)
  6. Rhys Hoskins (1B)
  7. Alec Bohm (3B)
  8. Bryson Stott (SS)
  9. Brandon Marsh (CF)

In this lineup, Turner gets to use his on-base skills and his ability to steal bases to set up a loaded middle of the order. Rules changes that make the bags slightly larger and limit pitcher pick-off attempts could see Turner’s stolen base numbers reach 60 or more. Harper gets to move up to the No. 2 spot, ensuring he gets a few more ABs per week, and allowed the team to alternate right/lefty through the No. 5 spot in the order.

Here’s the second...

  1. Kyle Schwarber (LF/DH)
  2. Trea Turner (SS)
  3. Bryce Harper (RF/DH)
  4. J.T. Realmuto (C)
  5. Nick Castellanos (RF/DH)
  6. Rhys Hoskins (1B)
  7. Alec Bohm (3B)
  8. Bryson Stott (SS)
  9. Brandon Marsh (CF)

In this scenario, Schwarber stays in the leadoff spot, a place where he was very comfortable last season, and there’s something to be said for having a 40+ homer guy being the first face a pitcher sees every game. Those leadoff dingers are pretty sweet. Turner in the No. 2 spot still assures you have a high on-base guy with speed at the top of the lineup, while affording Harper, Realmuto, and Castellanos more RBI chances.

Both lineups allow you to hit Hoskins lower in the order, either No. 5 or 6, depending on who’s hotter between him and Castellanos. For Turner, his past splits don’t indicate greater or lesser production based on where he hits in the order.

  • Batting 1st: .841 OPS (2176 PAs)
  • Batting 2nd: .852 OPS (1065 PAs)
  • Batting 3rd: .877 OPS (388 PAs)

In 23 games last year, he had an .892 OPS out of the leadoff spot, with a .793 OPS in 78 games batting 2nd and a .797 OPS in 59 games hitting 3rd.

On the latest edition of Hittin’ Season, you can hear me, Justin Klugh, Liz Roscher and Chris Jones pick our favorite as we broke down every angle of the Turner signing and discussed a number of Winter Meeting issues, specifically the wisdom of the Mets signing Old Man Verlander to a two-year deal rather than re-sign Jacob deGrom, and which mid-rotation free agent starter we’d like to see Dave Dombrowski ink to a deal.