ATLANTA – Scott Kingery will make his major-league debut tonight, as the Phillies try to move on from their opening-day loss.
Kingery will bat sixth and play third base, replacing Maikel Franco, against the Braves. Andrew Knapp will catch for the second straight game, and manager Gabe Kapler said Thursday that Knapp and Jorge Alfaro will split the first six games. Pitcher Nick Pivetta will bat eighth, and J.P. Crawford will bat ninth.
“Yesterday was a cool moment but today is kind of the big day,” Kingery said. “It will hit me once I get out there and once I step in that batter’s box and get that first ground ball in the game. I think it hasn’t fully hit me yet but it will.”
Kingery played different positions this spring as Kapler challenged him to be more versatile. The natural second baseman played third base, shortstop, center field, and right field. He could even play first, Kapler said. Kingery said he doesen’t mind where he’s playing as long as he’s in the lineup. Kapler could not say how many games Kingery will play a week but said he will “play a lot.”
“We feel like he’s athletically equipped to move around the diamond and super, super quick for a third baseman,” Kapler said. “And I think it’s really a good spot for him tonight.”
The game is scheduled to start at 7:35. Here’s the entire Phillies lineup:
- Cesar Hernandez, second base
- Carlos Santana, first base
- Odubel Herrera, center field
- Rhys Hoskins, left field
- Aaron Altherr, right field
- Scott Kingery, third base
- Andrew Knapp, catcher
- Nick Pivetta, pitcher
- J.P. Crawford, shortstop