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The Phillies are interested in Nick Castellanos even after signing Kyle Schwarber. While their lineup would be a behemoth, is it worth the defensive liability?
Positional flexibility isn’t always a good thing, especially if said player is among the worst defensive players at all positions. Such is the case with Nick Castellanos, who is best employed as a designated hitter, or corner outfielder if he truly must play the field.
However, given the emergence of a permanent DH spot in both leagues, Castellanos should have plenty of suitors for his hitting alone. The only problem with the Phillies as a potential landing spot? They already have Kyle Schwarber, who is very much of the same mold.
Jayson Stark laid out the pros and cons of having both Schwarber and Castellanos in the same lineup.
Such a team would be incredibly home run-heavy, especially when considering the power threats the Phillies already boast with Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins.
Cons of signing Nick Castellanos: Defensive flexibility
Stark also laid out the kind of defensive flexibility which would be necessary for the Phillies to make a Castellanos signing work long-term.
Let’s just say Joe Girardi would earn his managerial check.
Schwarber and Castellanos are sub-par defensive players. When the Phillies signed Schwarber with the idea of him being a long-term designated hitter, it made sense. But only one player can be slotted into that position. Playing Schwarber at an outfield spot occasionally to give other players a day off could be worked in, as well.
But when Castellanos — another sub-par defensive player who would work better as a long-term DH — is added to the equation, it could cost the Phillies defensively over the course of a season.
As Stark notes, the Phillies ‘are too far down that rabbit hole,’ and would surely accept the defensive woes that come from having Castellanos and Schwarber in the same lineup, if only because they believe the power output makes up for it long-term.