Phillies miss an easy chance to replace Rhys Hoskins

Why didn’t the Phillies take a chance on Keston Hiura as a possible replacement for star outfielder Rhys Hoskins?

After Rhys Hoskins suffered a season-ending ACL injury last week, the Philadelphia Phillies were in trouble.

Hoskins impressed the most this past postseason when he racked up six home runs in the Phillies’ World Series run, and his unfortunate freak accident is the just the latest blow to a heavily injured Philadelphia roster trying to repeat 2022’s success.

Whereas other positions may be more difficult to fill, the Phillies seemingly had the answer to Hoskins staring them right in the face: Milwaukee Brewers’ Keston Hiura.

The once highly-hailed top prospect was rumored to be on the trading block a week ago, but the Brewers were unable to find a willing trade candidate. Hiura then cleared waivers on Tuesday with not a single team taking a flyer on him.

For the short-handed Phillies, this was a golden opportunity that they just let pass by.

Philadelphia Phillies should have given Keston Hiura a chance to fill Rhys Hoskins’ shoes in 2023

Hiura spent the last four years in Milwaukee and never could quite live up to his first season’s achievements when he hit 19 home runs in 84 games.

Following a tough Spring Training, Hiura was earmarked as a hot trade candidate who might benefit from a change in scenery. Any team that traded for him would have to contend with the fact that Hiura has steadily declined since 2019, but for a team like Philadelphia that just lost Hoskins and will be without Bryce Harper until mid-June, Hiura seemed like a low-risk gamble.

Now that the Hiura ship has passed, the Phillies will probably adopt a first base platoon approach come Opening Day. A few external options remain, and Philadelphia could prepare to make a move at the trade deadline for a reliable hitter.

In the meantime, Darick Hall will get the start at first base against righties while Edmund Sosa will likely get plenty of action against lefties.

Not pursuing Hiura could bite the Phillies in the rear as the 2023 season progresses, but the club made its choice. We’ll see about the consequences.