In the overall scheme of things, creating a potential Phillies lineup for the 2020 season might land at No. 6 on my list of priorities. Coronavirus Covid-19 is the big one.
Caring for my family.
Prayers to keep all healthcare workers safe and concern for my fellow man.
Eating. And not dying — occupy the first five delicate slots.
So if there is, indeed, a season, let’s think back to 1981 when the Major League Baseball Players Association decided to strike for 10 weeks in the middle of the season.
Baseball decided to play the season in halves and allow the first-half division winners to enter the playoffs and the second-half division winners to claim playoff spots.
This formula upset two teams who compiled the best overall records, the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals, who didn’t make the playoffs.
And it should have upset Phillies’ Mike Schmidt who hit 31 homers and compiled 91 RBI in 102 games. He was on his way to perhaps 50-plus HRs and threatening the franchise-record 170 RBI.
This season, if there is one, will be a green-light funny car sprint. Can’t see a season longer than 82 games, but there’s always hope. We can count on manager Joe Girardi to have a thoughtful lineup with careful consideration to balance.
He has options. I trust his approach much better than the Ouija-board approach of his predecessor. One thing you will not see in my lineup ever this season is Bryce Harper batting lead-off. I would rather see each member of the Galapagos Gang take turns at the top of the order than to do something so hideous.
Cue Dan Baker, Scott Franzke, and Tom McCarthy please:
Now here’s the starting lineup for your 2020 Phillies:
1) Andrew McCutchen left field
2) J.T. Realmuto catcher
3) Bryce Harper right field
4) Rhys Hoskins first base
5) Jean Segura third base
6) Adam Haseley centerfield
7) Didi Gregorius shortstop
8) Scott Kingery second base
9) Aaron Nola, pitcher&amp;nbsp;
I like the on-base percentage of the top five of the lineup. In a best-case scenario, Harper and Hoskins will have plenty of RBI possibilities. The Phillies scored 99 fewer runs, and had 91 fewer hits than the gulp, World Champion Washington Nationals.&amp;nbsp;
I will platoon Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn until someone wins the job outright. I AM NOT giving up on either player. Each brings something to the table. I like Haseley’s growth potential as he appears to be a quick study. I love Quinn’s speed and hope that something clicks in him at the plate. Once a game, he should show bunt which pressures the defense. He’s got oodles of talent, but injuries always seem to be his speed bump.
I have second-guessed myself with Segura and Realmuto in the order. If for some reason Cutch is unable to go, Realmuto can step into the leadoff spot and Segura bat second or vice versa.
Phillies front office gets rid of its hesitancy in summoning minor league talent. Historically, the team waits for the simmering prospects to be well done. Look no further than Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and throw in Ryne Sandberg. While the end results justify the means, each player could have been playing at least a year before they were called up
Keep rookie third baseman Alex Bohm and starting pitcher Spencer Howard‘s numbers on speed dial. Bohm can take care of third should injuries limit a rusty D.D. Gregorious, Jean Segura, or heaven forbid the versatile Scott Kingery.
It is imperative for the Phillies to get off to a good start. In a presumably shortened season, usually the fastest dog out of the box to the first turn finds the trip to be most enjoyable.
Hopefully we’ll hear the call, “And they’re off.”
Frank Corsoe is a regular contributor to FightinPhillies. He retired as sports editor of The Blade in Toledo after a 42-year career in journalism.