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Why the Philadelphia Phillies need to keep Tommy Joseph in the lineup

Tommy Joseph, #19 (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Tommy Joseph, #19 (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)


Tommy Joseph has had himself an up and down career thus far. Since being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies from the San Francisco Giants, he has been through some injuries that have hindered his development.

After a couple of years, with a new setting, and new position: it seems as if the 24-year-old has finally found his groove.

Joseph was called up on May 13 and has been somewhat platooning the first base position with long time first baseman, Ryan Howard. It’s no secret that Ryan Howard’s best days are far behind him and he seems to look out of place every time he is in the batters box.

In the minors, Joseph was projected to be an average catcher with the potential to develop quality power. However, like mentioned previously, injuries forced him to change positions and become a first baseman later on in his minor league career. This has changed his projections, as an everyday catcher is worth more than an average fielder at the first base position. Still, if Joseph can reach his power potential he’ll be, at the very least, a quality role player with the potential to be an everyday starter.

Howard is currently batting .151 in 211 plate appearances. For any normal player, this type of performance would warrant being sent down or even released. However, it seems that the team feels handcuffed to the mega-deal they shelled out to Howard in 2012.

Joseph is by no means putting up incredible stats that suggest he should be the everyday starter without a question. In fact, in 142 at bats he is only batting .232 and has 38 strikeouts. These numbers aren’t great, but what is impressive is his nine home runs in that span.

Howard is a 36-year-old who seems to be hanging on to what’s left of his baseball career. Joseph is an up-and-coming prospect who, before the injury set backs, was projected to be a pretty good ball player. It seems like it would be in the Phillies best interest to name Joseph the starter from here on out and let him get as much experience as possible.

In a year where the Phillies have been sub-par, maybe it’s time to let the youth showcase what they have.

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