The Phillies have a first baseman ready for the majors. They also have a major-league first baseman that is holding his own. Something has to give.
The Phillies will spend the rest of the month working to ship their veteran players to contenders. But a more interesting scenario would have the Phillies moving Tommy Joseph in order to make room for Rhys Hoskins, who leads the triple-A International League in homers.
"They can't coexist on the same team. There is no way they could," manager Pete Mackanin said of Hoskins and Joseph. "It wouldn't be fair to either guy. It wouldn't be fair to us. It wouldn't be fair to Tommy. Tommy has got a chance to hit 30 home runs and drive in 90 runs. I mean, to take that possibility away from him I don't think is fair to him, regardless of what we think about him. He's a pretty good hitter."
Joseph, who turns 26 later this month, entered Friday batting .246 this season with 14 homers and a .751 OPS. Hoskins, 24, is batting .292 with 20 homers and a .968 OPS. He hit 38 homers last year at double-A Reading. Hoskins will represent the Phillies along with second base prospect Scott Kingery on Sunday at the Futures Game in Miami. Hoskins and Joseph are both righthanded, canceling any options of a platoon situation like the Phillies had last year with Joseph and Ryan Howard.
"To bring Rhys up here just to play part-time doesn't make sense to me," Mackanin said. "If he could play another position, if either one of them could, it would make it easier for me to do. But I don't think it would help either guy or us to find out about Rhys Hoskins if he is not playing on a regular basis."
J.P. Crawford is ranked No. 92 on Baseball America's midseason list of the top 100 prospects in baseball after being ranked No. 3 in last year's midseason report. Crawford, who was ranked No. 12 before the season, is batting .215 with a .328 on-base percentage in 270 at-bats at triple A. Including last year, Crawford has a career .231 average at triple A.
"J.P. has to hit better to come up for me," Mackanin said.