CLEARWATER, Fla. — Phillies infield coach Bobby Dickerson went into spring training with the goal of giving manager Joe Girardi some options.

The Phillies’ infield defense was one of the worst, statistically, in baseball last year. Dickerson doesn’t read into the metrics, but knew he had his work cut out for him. So he got to work, paying close attention to two players in particular: Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott.

Bohm and Stott, who were told they both made the Phillies opening-day roster on Tuesday, were once in competition for the starting third base job. But a few weeks later, the plan has changed. Rather than picking one over the other, Girardi is convinced he can get at-bats for both. This is going to require some defensive maneuvering, which is where Dickerson comes in.

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Bohm, 25, who has played the bulk of his career at third base, started a few games at first base this spring. Stott, 24, who has played most of his career at shortstop, started a few games at third base. Throw in utilityman Johan Camargo, who signed as a free agent with the Phillies in December and has experience playing nearly every position, and Girardi has quite a few options to move around.

He could DH first baseman Rhys Hoskins, and shift Bohm to first base, and put Stott at third. Or, if Didi Gregorius needs a day off, Stott could play shortstop, and Bohm could man third. Or, if second baseman Jean Segura is dealing with an injury, he could move Camargo to fill in. How Girardi will piece this puzzle remains to be seen, but Dickerson is determined to make sure the pieces are ready when they are called upon.

Because Stott wasn’t on the 40-man roster during the lockout, Dickerson was able to work with him one-on-one during Phillies minicamp. Back then, they were mostly going through shortstop drills, but over the last few weeks, they have transitioned to taking ground balls at third base.

“He’s been a middle infielder for most of his life,” Dickerson said. “The difference between middle infield play and the corner infield is just basically angle changes, and the way the ball spins off the bat. There’s a lot more top spin, less time to react. So, we’re just trying to work on creating better angles to get the hops he needs.”

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A shortened spring training doesn’t seem ideal for a player with no big-league experience to learn a new position. But Dickerson has seen crazier things happen before. He helped Manny Machado transition from shortstop to third base when he was in double A, and says that it took him only a week to prepare to field the position in a big-league game.

“When you’re a talented guy, you can make these adjustments pretty quickly,” he said. “I’ve seen it. And Stott, right now, is showing me he can make the adjustments.”

Just more than a week ago, Stott was playing third base against the Tigers when Javy Baez scorched a ball his way in the fifth inning. He made the right move to get behind it, but then changed his position. His glove-action was poor, and the ball ended up hitting him in the wrist and in the chest. He was charged with a fielding error.

After the game, Stott watched the video. He immediately saw his mistake, and went to Dickerson.

“Man, I’m an idiot,” he said to his coach. “I made the right move first, but I didn’t trust it.”

“Exactly,” Dickerson told him.

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Stott was in the right spot, and if he would have stayed there, he wouldn’t have had a problem. He was overthinking it, trying to do too much, which isn’t uncommon for a younger player. But what gave Dickerson optimism was the way his pupil responded to the mistake.

“He’s got a lot of self-confidence, but not so much that he’s bigger than the game, or not willing to learn,” Dickerson said. “It’s a great balance. If he makes the right moves and he doesn’t catch the ball, maybe a player isn’t good enough to be a big-leaguer. But if you make the wrong moves and fix those … when he makes the right move he’ll be catching that ball.”

Bohm presents a different kind of challenge. He led the National League in errors at third base last year, with 15. Unlike Stott, he has made his big-league debut, but not without bumps and bruises. Dickerson said the biggest key to Bohm’s turning it around in 2022 is his self-confidence.

“He’s got some naysayers,” Dickerson said. “I talk to him about that. We’re trying to build his confidence back. I’m trying to help him understand that he’ll come out stronger on the other end. He just needs to know that he can do this.

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“Confidence has a huge impact on defense. It’s the difference between, ‘Let me go make this play,’ versus, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to mess it up.’ It’s a totally different feel. I always talk to my guys about playing defense offensively. I don’t want them to be defensive defenders.”

Dickerson said Bohm’s self-confidence will come with time and positive reinforcement. But the results seem to be coming quickly. Dickerson said he’s seen a shift in Bohm’s mentality even over the last few weeks, while he manages an unsettling situation.

“Here he is, the incumbent third baseman more or less, and you’ve got Camargo taking grounders,” Dickerson said. “You’ve got Stott taking grounders. You’ve got all of these people taking grounders. For him to pull his britches up and say, ‘Let’s go to work,’ that shows me some mental toughness. He’s telling us that we’re going to have to drag him off of that field.

“This game is predicated on negativity and failure. You really have to be tough, mentally. Weak people can’t play this game. The biggest drop-off of all players, when they quit, is after that little 10-year-old when the fields move back to regular size. Everybody starts quitting around 12 and 13 because it’s no fun anymore. Little Johnny’s not hitting those homers anymore. So they quit.

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“These guys that play at this level are mentally strong. They deal with failure better than anybody. And right now, he’s not concerned about what’s going on around him. He’s keeping his mind in his world, and what he has to do to stay on the field.”