Girardi talks strategy, says Harper will not leadoff

Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team
March 05, 2020 - 9:11 am

Bryce Harper will not be leading off this season.

New Phillies manager Joe Girardi joined Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show live in Clearwater on Thursday and talked a little lineup strategy. 

"I actually want (Harper) to hit in the first inning, hopefully with somebody on base to maybe give us a two run lead or a three run lead," Girardi explained. "I just think that he has so much ability that you want maximize his potential of having base runners on. Now in saying that, I do envision he could hit third and I do envision he could hit second. So much of it depends on who's the leadoff guy before Cutch (Andrew McCutchen) comes back. 

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"That's my investigation right now and I've done it with J.T. (Realmuto) a little bit because he did it in Florida and also as a catcher you get more at bats, you don't have to catch as long. And I don't want him having to catch seven innings to get three at bats early in camp. So I've done that with him and he said he kind of liked it in Florida when he did it. So that's something I'm flirting with, but it will not be Bryce."

In terms of what position Jean Seguara and Scott Kingery will play, Girardi says they're giving Segura a shot to play third for now, at his request. 

"So when we came to camp our idea was to move Jean around (from) third to second and Scotty around (from) third to second," Girardi said. "Jean said, 'I'd play second base in my sleep,' because he did so in Arizona. So let me work at third and he has embraced this, which I have been so impressed with Jean Segura in camp, how he has embraced that. He's made a bunch of good plays. I think he has everything to do it. He has the arm strength, he has the arm angles, he has the ability to come in, the ability to come back, the ability to turn double plays quickly from his arm slot because he had to do it at short. So, he said, 'Just let me play third and let me see if I can figure this out.' So that's what we've done."

You can listen to the full interview below.