Phillies

Phillies Vs. Marlins: Will Alec Bohm's Big Night Earn Him Another Start?

Will Alec Bohm's big night earn him another look in Phillies' starting lineup? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

MIAMI -- Joe Girardi says he's going to play Alec Bohm at third base again one of these days, but he won't put a timetable on it.

Could Sunday be the day?

Bohm is forcing himself back into the Phillies' starting lineup with his bat. He got his first start in five days Saturday night and helped the Phils snap a four-game losing streak with a team-high three RBIs in a 10-3 win over the Miami Marlins.

After going 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series -- including 0 for 9 on Friday night -- the Phils went 5 for 8 with runners in scoring position in the first two innings as they built an 8-0 lead for lefty Ranger Suarez.

The Phillies are 4-5 as they head into the series finale with ace Zack Wheeler on the mound Sunday afternoon.

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Serving as the Phillies' designated hitter Saturday night, Bohm drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field in the first inning and added another RBI with a single in the second. He singled again in the fourth and had another sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Bohm is now 7 for 10 on the season with three walks, three sacrifice flies and four RBIs.

Most of Bohm's playing time over the first nine games has come off the bench. He started two of the first four games at third base, made three throwing errors in a game against the Mets on Monday night and hasn't been seen at the position since -- except for pre-game work.

It's not that Girardi hasn't had the opportunity to play Bohm at third. Second baseman Jean Segura has missed three straight games with a sore right shoulder. Bryson Stott has moved over from third to play second in Segura's absence with Johan Camargo, signed over the winter to be a super-sub off the bench, getting the time at third base.

Girardi has said that his use of Camargo at third is more about Camargo than Bohm. He likes the contributions that Camargo has made. Certainly, Camargo's defense is superior to Bohm's.

But Bohm is a 25-year-old former first-round pick, a developing player who needs reps. Not playing him at his natural position suggests that Girardi does not trust his defense. Girardi would never say something like that, but actions speak louder than words.

"Alec is going to play," Girardi said before Saturday's game. "We're going to run him back out there. You can count on it. It's been a good bat off the bench for us.

"But there's sometimes where you have a night where we had, you take a step back before you go forward. He's done the work he needs to do. We're pleased with that and the way he's handled everything. I think there's a lot of growth with him, but you're going to see him back out there."

Bohm was in the starting lineup Saturday night because the Phillies needed a DH. They had an opening there because Kyle Schwarber, who is in a 1-for-28 funk, got a day off with lefty starter Trevor Rogers on the mound for Miami. That allowed Girardi to get Nick Castellanos a start in left field and opened up the DH spot for Bohm.

With the Marlins using right-hander Elieser Hernandez in Sunday's series finale, it stands to reason that the lefty-hitting Schwarber would return to the lineup with Castellanos and his productive bat moving back to the DH spot.

In the infield, the Phils may or may not have Segura back Sunday. If he's back, Stott could play third. However, he struck out four times Saturday night and could be ready for a rest. 

So, clearly, there could be an opportunity for Girardi to give Bohm another chance at third base Sunday. Unless, of course, he has reservations about using him behind Wheeler, a ground ball pitcher.

It's a complicated issue made more complicated by the way Bohm is swinging the bat -- and that's a good thing.

Stay tuned to what the Phillies' lineup looks like Sunday as they try to escape Miami with a series split.

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