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So far so good with Jim Thome playing first base

Apr 23, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

Jim Thome AP

Jim Thome has started at first base for the Phillies in three of the first 16 games, which doesn’t seem like much until you consider that he last played even an inning at the position in mid-2007.

He committed a throwing error yesterday, but health-wise the 41-year-old has held up pretty well after missing tons of time with minor injuries during the previous few seasons.

Getting just 18 total plate appearances through 16 games has made it tough for Thome to stay sharp and he’s just 2-for-16 with nine strikeouts, but considering how much the Phillies’ lineup has struggled to produce runs it’ll be interesting to see if manager Charlie Manuel tries to expand his role with some more time at first base.

In addition to Thome’s three starts there the Phillies have used Ty Wigginton six times, Laynce Nix four times, and John Mayberry three times, and that quartet has combined to hit just .263 with one homer and a .730 OPS. Of course, as mediocre as a .730 OPS is for first base it actually ranks as the best OPS the Phillies have gotten from any position in their lineup. Which is why they rank second-to-last with 2.7 runs per game.

  1. 12strikes - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    I think you are looking at those stats through rose color glasses. Project that out over 162 games. Also that error yesterday was not just an oops. He threw being the pitcher by about 6 feet (at least that is what it looked like by the camera angels). It’s sad to see, but I think this falls under the category of “played one to many years.” At this point the Phillies should just play Mayberry, not that he is all that much better, but at least he still has a future.

  2. randygnyc - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    One of the truly great players in the game. With so much to be arrogant and conceited about, he remains humble. Wishing only the best for Jim Thome.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Agreed. I hope he has a great year and can really contribute. It’s hard not to love the guy.

  3. hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    That 40 million dollar closer signing is looking pretty stupid right now. The Phillies need to decide ASAP if they are keeping Cole Hamels, because if so, Trevor May should be moved for a little offense. I know a team in Boston that has a huge need for pitching, and has a firstbaseman currently playing third.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Pap’s signing has looked stupid since the moment it was done.

  4. stex52 - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Don’t get me wrong. I am and have been a Jim Thome fan. I hope he does well this year. But the stats you quote to date this year don’t sound like “so far, so good” to me.

    • 5thbase - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      Set the bar really low and you’ll never be disappointed!

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