Harper at First Pros and Cons

If the Phillies play Harper at first, the big advantage will be to move Schwarber to DH. They can call up Cave and send down Hall. When Pache is off the injured list, he can either play left field or center against left-handed pitchers and Rojas can play either left field or center against left-handed pitchers. Bohm can play first when Harper needs a rest against a left-handed pitcher and Sosa can play third. Sosa can also be a backup to Turner at Shortstop or Stott at second base when needed. The con is the Phillies will have less time to evaluate Hall at the big-league level. Looking forward to next year, unless the Phillies are going to move Harper to first base and out of right field, they will have to play Hall at first. It is unlikely they will be able to resign Hopkins. Like Schwarber in left field, Hopkins is not the best defensive first baseman. With Harper in rightfield and Castellanos in left field, the only place to play Schwarber and or Hopkins is at DH. Personally, I think moving Harper to first base and playing a combination of Cave, Pache, Rojas, and Marsh makes the better sense for the long run. If the Phillies are able to sign Hopkins to an incentive-based contract he might be able to play DH against left-handed pitching when Schwarber does not hit well next year. The Phillies could then trade Hall or maybe Schwarber for a top-quality young starting pitcher. If Hall plays well, they might be able to rotate him at first with Harper at DH against right-hand pitching, and if they are able to keep Hopkins part-time, they could use him at DH vs left-handed pitching instead of Hall. Another thing to consider is what are we going to do with Carlos De La Cruz if he is ready for the majors by next year or the following year. At that point, Schwarber will need to go for certain so De La Cruz can DH and maybe outfield moving Castellanos to DH. More importantly, the Phillies will likely not be able to resign Nola for any kind of reasonable amount of money and Painter may not be ready next year to take his place. Given Nola's age and his shaky performance at times, it may be time to trade Hall or Schwarber for a long-term replacement for Nola. This team is getting older and some of our older players will soon need to be replaced. Speed on the bases and defense is probably going to carry Philles farther than power. Power, mostly helps when there are men on base to knock in. Personally, this is why I am not sure Schwarber really helps the Phillies as much as they think he does, except for the month of June.