PHILADELPHIA -- Tommy Joseph said last month that baseball players must be comfortable being uncomfortable.Unless they are Michael Trout, Bryce Harper or otherwise established veterans, there will be occasional and sometimes frequent speculation about their futures with an organization. Joseph knows this. He is very self-aware. The Phillies looked for
PHILADELPHIA -- Tommy Joseph said last month that baseball players must be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Unless they are Michael Trout, Bryce Harper or otherwise established veterans, there will be occasional and sometimes frequent speculation about their futures with an organization. Joseph knows this. He is very self-aware. The Phillies looked for suitors for him before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but found no takers. They called up No. 6 prospect Rhys Hoskins from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday. Hoskins is a first baseman who could push Joseph out of his everyday job as early as next season.
Joseph can try to make that decision more difficult in the season's final seven weeks. He went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in Friday night's 7-6 loss to the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. He entered the series against the Mets in a 1-for-27 slump, but he is 3-for-7 in the past two games.
"I haven't really done my part [recently]," Joseph said. "It was nice to contribute."
But Joseph said it is just a coincidence that he has had better at-bats since Hoskins' arrival.
"It has nothing to do with that," he said. "If playing in the big leagues isn't enough motivation for you, then you're probably not here for the right reasons."
Joseph is hitting .247 with 16 homers, 56 RBIs and a .738 OPS in 427 plate appearances this season. He has a .792 OPS since May 1.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and manager Pete Mackanin met with Joseph before Thursday's game. They understand situations like this -- starter vs. prospect -- can be tricky. Joseph knows as well as anybody. He bumped Ryan Howard out of an everyday role early last season.
"I'm a huge fan of communication and everybody in the party understanding what's going on," Joseph said about the meeting. "It meant a lot to call me in."
Joseph is expected to be the primary first baseman while outfielder Aaron Altherr is sidelined until September with a strained right hamstring. Hoskins will play mostly left field until then. But once Altherr returns, playing time at first base could become more difficult.
"Last year, going through it, sometimes you'd show up to the park and wait for the lineup and wait for the lineup," Joseph said. "After a couple months, you realize if I don't show up ready to play, I'm not going to be ready to play. So I started to figure out -- if I'm not in the lineup, I'll still be ready. You're going to need me at some point."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.