Usually, for the Phillies in review series, we introduce what the player was supposed to be heading into the upcoming season. Maybe I bring up the JoJo Romero trade again and how he produced in a platoon with Bryson Stott down the stretch of 2022.
However, there’s one challenge I want everyone to try now and once you’ve read through the piece.
Describe Edmundo Sosa’s season in one word.
You might go with something like “Mediocre” or “Unimpressive”. Maybe you’ll be more complimentary of him and say “Solid”.
Strange is the word that comes to mind for me.
2023 Stats: 104 G, 300 PA, .251/.293/.427, 10 HR, 95 OPS+, 0.9 fWAR
April looked like a promising start for Sosa with flashes of great defense at third base and a .865 OPS. He didn’t just look like a decent starter but a valuable everyday role player on a contender.
He was inevitably going to come down to earth. Only the best third basemen in the game can put up that type of two-way skill for a full season.
Sosa’s hot start came to a crashing end, he struggled with plate discipline all season, chasing on 43.1% of the pitches outside the strike zone.
From the start of May to the end of June, Sosa’s offense made him unplayable. He hit just .200 with a .523 OPS.
He would have to go back to a platoon role. Around this time, Kody Clemens came on as a nice platoon option against right-handed pitching in the month of may, forcing Sosa back into a platoon role.
Once Sosa got put back into the role that made him so successful the year prior, his numbers crept back in the right direction.
Through the final three months of the season, he hit .273 with a .831 OPS. He gave them some right-handed pop with five home runs and was their best right-handed bench option against lefties.
What was difficult for the team was that they never tried him in the outfield. So come playoff time, those plate appearances went to Cristian Pache instead. You were also rarely going to be in a situation where he would hit for Johan Rojas.
After a solid regular season, all things considered, he wouldn’t have a real role for the postseason.
In 2022, the Phillies acquired Sosa for his defense around the infield. With the St. Louis Cardinals, he put together some outstanding glovework the rest of the roster just didn’t have.
Splitting time between shortstop and third base, he put up ten Outs Above Average (OAA) and six Defensive Runs Saves (DRS).
Both trended in the wrong direction for 2023, with just 2 OAA and -2 DRS split between third, shortstop, and second.
He made some wildly uncharacteristic errors, especially to his glove side at third base. There were real questions to ask about how such a stark decline could happen for someone whos only 27.
I went through some of the grounders Sosa has booted— Anthony (@AnthonyEsbensen) July 20, 2023
all of them r to his glove side
he covers the line very well and has made the toughest of plays this year but he's having these issues
I'm not sure he's ever had this issue and it's not a simple "he can't play third" thing pic.twitter.com/QQoQ9zpfGl
Sosa is going to be back with the club next season barring something unforeseen. The Phillies tendered his contract already so there’s no reason to think he won’t be on the roster next season.
He also doesn’t carry any remaining minor-league options so the Phillies would have to designate him for assignment.
Hopefully, the defense rebounds and he should have a better offensive season in fewer plate appearances when he won’t be asked to play every day unless it’s for a short-term stint.