The short and long run: Hall, Hoskins, and roster math...

Darick Hall has been proving he can hit big league pitching - and hit it well. This is a good thing. But it raises a question (or rather two):

If Hall ain't goin' back to Lehigh Valley - what are we going to do with him? Because if we learned one thing this year, we started the year with five DHs not named Harper (Bohm, Castellanos, Gregorius, Hoskins, & Schwarber) and then we needed Harper to play DH. Now that Harper is out, Hall just took his place and we are making it work, but when Harper comes back, we be back in a DH overload situation again. This leaves us with the short term question (the remainder of 2022 when Harper comes back), and the long term question (2023 & beyond).

But first we have to talk about Hoskins and Hall, because they are both first basemen.

Rhys Hoskins (29 yo RHB) is eligible for arbitration this offseason and is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent after 2024. Hoskins has become an important part of the Phillies offense and this year has improved his defense. Hoskins lives in Philadelphia and he and his wife participate in the community charity events. Hoskins currently makes $7.7 million. That's a good deal for his current production, but that salary will be going up.

  • Hoskins 2022: AB: 299, HR: 17, OBP: .347 SLG: .488 OPS+: 134
  • Hoskins career: AB: 2137 HR: 135 OBP: 358 SLG: 500 OPS+: 127

Darick Hall (27 yo LHB) is on a one year $700K contract with the Phillies (1/10th of Rhys Hoskins). I wasn't able to easily glean what his team control situation is. But he will likely be eligible for arbitration soon on his age alone.

  • Hall 2022 MLB: AB: 27 HR: 3 OBP: 259 SLG: 630 OPS+: 142

BaseballTrade Values has Hall's TV currently at near zero and Hoskins at 20 - which I think is absurd, but that's the situation.

When Harper comes back, some will ask - will Harper need to play DH? If Harper needs to play DH, we will have to choose between Hall & Hoskins. Hall is a lefty and Hoskins is a rightie - which suggests a platoon, but given current roster restraints, it's hard to carry two 1st basemen who only play that. But even if Harper can return to RF, that starts a game of musical chairs where Castellanos, Hoskins and Hall have to fit into two spots. So against LHPs we could play Hoskins (1B) and Castellanos (DH), and against righties we could play Hall (1B) and a DH-du-Jour. So really in either case - Harper as DH or in RF, there is pressure on the roster math to get all of that lumber in.

What about beyond? In the long run, we should probably have only one first baseman (Realmuto, Schwarber, Vierling, & Camargo can all back 1st) because carrying two when we have other players that fit into the DH spot is roster expensive.

It is easy to say - Hall is the obviously right choice: he has better numbers on the season and he's a lot cheaper and he's under team control for longer (maybe).

But in Hoskins defense:

  • Hall's numbers are still a small sample and his Baseball Trade Value number can't be real - other teams have to be taking note.. I think the batting numbers will settle and the trade value climb. Hall is not very young and is closer to arbitration than you might think.
  • Hoskins is the most prominent homegrown talent on the team after Nola. He's popular.
  • The team has patiently waited for Hoskins' bat and glove to develop, we might need to go back through this process again with Hall - and it wasn't always productive.
  • In the spirit of buy low sell high - I think Hall could be at a peak speculative value right now and Hoskins isn't at a low point - but everyone knows what he is - and that that's not enough to "push" a team over the top to the playoffs, but potentially an above average contributor for years.

I'm not sure that Hall's value isn't exploding and if the Phillies could get him some play at first and if he can stay hot, I wonder if we shouldn't deal him now - before the trade deadline if we can get a starter that can help us with the playoff run. That would leave us with one fewer bat between when the trade deadline hits and when Harper comes back, but I think we can deal with that if we get a good arm.

If we wait until after the season, I think we should explore the deals for either anyway, and I'd still lean to trading Hall and keeping Hoskins and signing him.

I'm sure there will be opinions.

Addendum - you could write this whole piece again about what to do with roster spots when Segura comes back. But I thought I'd give a quick summary of the 13 position player slots.

Obviously there are eight field starter spots (Realmuto, Hoskins, Stott, Gregorius, Bohm, Schwarber, Herrera, Castellanos) (some might debate some of these as starters, but I'm just counting right now)

This leaves five bench spots

  • Backup Catcher - currently this is Stubbs and this has been serving us well...
  • Backup Infielder - Lately this has been Yairo Munoz - (with help from Vierling) but this could change when Camargo or Maton is available again.. And ultimately when / if Segura comes back - this may be Stott again.
  • Backup Outfielder - Lately this is Vierling or Moniak (I guess we consider Herrera the starter?)
  • Two more spots...

Right now we are carrying Hall as a DH and backup 1st base and whichever of Vierling / Moniak / Herrera you don't consider the backup and primary starter outfielder.

Harper comes back and Hall or one of Vierling, Moniak, or Herrrera have to get off the 25 man roster most likely

Segura comes back and one of Gregorius, Stott, Bohm, Munoz are probably due to exit (or Camargo or Maton if they've already come in and pushed someone else out).

Players like Vierling, Stott, and Camargo that can play many positions help roster math. Players like Gregorius, Bohm and Hall (or Hoskins) make it more complicated.