After nearly five years, the Phillies were back in the prime time.
Their series finale against the Washington Nationals — an 8-6 collapse — was the first time the team had been on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball since Aug. 4, 2013, when they lost, 4-1, to the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
A lot has changed in the time since, and a look at the starting lineup is proof of that.
So, here’s where the Phillies’ starting lineup was on that August night almost five years ago.
1. 2B Cesar Hernandez was down in the minors with triple-A Lehigh Valley. The then-23-year-old made his major-league debut in late May of that season, getting his first call-up after Michael Young was placed on the bereavement list. Hernandez was sent back down in June but returned when the rosters expanded in September. He ultimately appeared in 34 games in 2013, batting .289 in 121 at-bats. However, Chase Utley was still the starting second baseman and wasn’t in any position to lose the job.
2. LF Rhys Hoskins was at Sacramento State College, having just completed his sophomore season a couple months earlier. Age 20, the first baseman hit .283 with a .746 OPS in 53 games. The Phillies picked him up a year later in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the 2014 draft.
3. CF Odubel Herrera was in the Texas Rangers’ farm system playing second base for high-A Myrtle Beach in a 5-1 loss to Frederick (Baltimore affiliate). He went 1-for-4 and struck out twice. Splitting time between high-A and double-A ball, Herrera finished 2013 hitting .264 in 130 games. He was picked up by the Phillies in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft.
4. 1B Carlos Santana was already an established major-leaguer in his fourth season with Cleveland. The Indians were off that night, but Santana was on his way to a second season with at least 20 home runs. He finished the 2013 campaign with a .268 batting average, an .832 OPS, and a career-high 39 doubles.
5. RF Nick Williams was in single A with the Hickory Crawdads. Taken by the Rangers in the second round of the draft a year before, Williams went on to finish his first full year in the minors batting .293 with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs. He grew into one of Texas’ top prospects and was one of five players sent to Philadelphia in the Cole Hamels deal.
6. SS Scott Kingery completed his freshman season at Arizona, batting .261 with a .731 OPS. The Phillies picked him in the second round (48th overall) of the draft two years later after he hit .392 in his junior season.
7. C Andrew Knapp was with the Williamsport Crosscutters in single-A short-season ball after the Phillies picked him in the second round of the draft. He went 0-for-2 and scored a run in a 2-0 win over the Staten Island Yankees that night. Knapp went on to hit .253 with 20 doubles and a .741 OPS for the year.
8. 3B Maikel Franco moved up to double-A Reading in June and finished the season hitting .339 with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs in 69 games. On Aug. 4, he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the renamed Fightin Phils’ 4-3 loss to the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate).
9. P Nick Pivetta was pitching for the Auburn Doubledays in single-A short-season ball after four appearances with the Gulf Coast League Nationals through June and July. Taken in the fourth round by Washington in that summer’s draft, Pivetta went 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five starts for Auburn. He was in the Phillies’ farm system two years later when the Nationals made a deadline deal for closer Jonathan Papelbon.
A few days after the Phillies appeared on prime time for the last time, Fox announced that it had hired current manager Gabe Kapler as a baseball analyst for Fox Sports 1. While with the network, he ran a sabermetrics-focused segment dubbed “Saberclips” along with “In the Cage,” where he offered tips and advice to help younger ball players improve. Kapler left the network a little over a year later to serve as the Dodgers’ director of player development.
Here was the Phillies’ starting lineup on Aug. 4, 2013:
- 3B Michael Young
- 2B Chase Utley
- SS Jimmy Rollins
- LF Darin Ruf
- RF Delmon Young
- 1B Kevin Frandsen
- CF John Mayberry Jr.
- C Carlos Ruiz
- P Cliff Lee
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