CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Rob Thomson has gone over it once, twice, three times. More.
“Fifteen, maybe,” the Phillies’ manager said Monday, before accepting the Team of the Year Award at the 118th dinner of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. “Some on paper. Some in my mind.”
The topic: Lineups. The situation for a manager: A treat. For the way the Phillies have been constructed, not just through the World Series season of last year but into an aggressive offseason, the batting order options are plentiful.
While it sounds like Thomson would prefer to use Trea Turner as his regular leadoff hitter, he is not completely past the idea of keeping Kyle Schwarber at that spot.
“I think he liked it,” Thomson said with a smile. “Forty-five home runs – you can’t go wrong with that.”
Just the same, he realizes Turner – with his speed, with his contact hitting and even with some of Schwarber’s power – would be a custom fit at the top of the order.
“He’s a high on-base guy, he’s a high slug guy, he steals bases,” Thomson said. “You can put him in any part of the lineup you want, one through four, and he’s going to produce. But just his on-base skill is something that we really didn’t have last year, and he’s a big threat, no doubt.”
Though Thomson is not ruling out Schwarber as the occasional leadoff hitter, Turner clearly is the No. 1 option.
“Having a high on-base guy in front of those guys,” he said, “just creates a lot more runs.”
Thomson is considering Darick Hall as a designated hitter while Bryce Harper recovers from Tommy John surgery, but that would be just one of those 15 possible lineups.
“We have options with Nick Castellanos, giving him a half-day,” Thomson said. “We can give Rhys Hoskins a half-day, even J.T. (Realmuto). But Darick did a wonderful job for us when he came up last year when Bryce got hurt. He’s definitely in the mix this year.”
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Not that Turner has been productive in recent years with the Nationals and Dodgers, but Alec Bohm has come to enjoy a chatting relationship with him just from his new teammate’s ability to get on base.
“We’ve seen a lot of him in the last few years,” Bohm said. “And I’ve gotten to know him just because he has been on base a lot.”
Considering Bohm’s position, that means he has been on third once or twice.
“He’s been on all of them,” Bohm said.
After hitting .280 last season but supplying only 13 home runs, Bohm has added five pounds of muscle at age 26.
“A little bit,” he said. “But that doesn’t really mean anything. To me, it’s performance. There’s all different shapes and sizes in the league. You see that. For me, I just want to be available every day. So that’s kind of the route that I’ve seen that leads to that: Feel better, feel good, feel strong. But being available is what I want.”
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Honored by the PSWA Monday were Jay Wright (Living Legend), Tyrese Maxey (Ed Snider Humanitarian Award), Scott Laughton (Good Guy), Tony DeAngelo (Native Son), the Union (Team Special Achievement) and Villanova basketball record-setter Maddy Siegrist (Outstanding Amateur).
Receiving Special Achievement Awards were Rowan field hockey star Kristina Castagnola, Hall of Fame hockey writer Al Morganti, retired Temple fencing coach Dr. Nikki Franke, Jefferson women’s basketball coach Tom Shirley and Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball coach Cindy Griffin.
Sixers radio announcer Tom McGinnis received the Bill Campbell Award for broadcasting excellence. Baseball writer Jim Salisbury accepted the Stan Hochman Award for achievement in sports journalism. And Army linebacker Leo Lowin was saluted for being named the PSWA MVP of the Army-Navy game.
Jalen Hurts was named Pro Athlete of the Year, but was unable to attend.
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Springfield lacrosse All-Delco Belle Mastropietro had quite the busy day. First, the Temple senior had to go to class. After that it was off to practice. Then it was a race to Cherry Hill with assistant coach Liz Trojan where she was one of the honored guests.
“It’s been crazy day,” Mastropietro said.
She even got to have her picture taken with Bohm, with a little prodding.
“Yeah, I was dragged here by my coach,” Mastropietro said.
The senior midfielder is coming off a season where she set the program record for draw controls (105) and finished second on the team and sixth in the American Athletic Conference in goals scored (44).
Mastropietro was named the AAC Midfielder of the Year and was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection. She also earned honorable mention All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse and was on the Tewaaraton watchlist for national player of the year.
“I think, more than anything, I love to represent Temple in such a great way,” Mastropietro said of her appearance at the PSWA banquet. “I’m just really honored to be that person to come here for that.”
Source: Berkshire mont