The first big question of the Philadelphia Phillies off-season is answered. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski spoke to the media today and discussed Bryce Harper’s defensive future.
Dave Dombrowski, on Bryce Harper: "We decided we're going to play him at first base. ... He's happy to do whatever we wanted him to do. He said he'd play first or the outfield. He feels great. But the more we talked about it internally, we liked the idea of playing him at first."— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) November 8, 2023
After working on first base during the season, he debuted there in Cleveland on July 21. He made quite the impression going viral on catching a popup in foul ground.
this new first baseman is pretty good pic.twitter.com/G0js1fOC6s— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 22, 2023
There were certainly some bumps along the way for Harper while he was transitioning. Overall, in 303 innings at first base, he had one Defensive Run Saved and zero Outs Above Average. Nothing spectacular but he was not even close to a disaster.
What will happen with Hoskins is certainly a question everyone has now.
Dave Dombrowski said he spoke with Rhys Hoskins to tell him about the decision. Harper will be the everyday first baseman (he will not play right field) and the Phillies see Kyle Schwarber as the primary DH, essentially leaving Hoskins nowhere to play.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) November 8, 2023
The Phillies will now most likely let Hoskins walk in free agency since Dombrowski confirmed there is nowhere to put him.