PHILADELPHIA -- Rhys Hoskins' recent power surge is destroying the theory that participating in a home run derby ruins a hitter's swing.Hoskins hit his fourth home run in five games in the first inning of Wednesday's 7-3 victory over the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. His recent performance at the
PHILADELPHIA -- Rhys Hoskins' recent power surge is destroying the theory that participating in a home run derby ruins a hitter's swing.
Hoskins hit his fourth home run in five games in the first inning of Wednesday's 7-3 victory over the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. His recent performance at the plate -- the slugger is hitting .292 with four homers, nine RBIs and a 1.289 OPS in his past five games -- follows an impressive performance in last week's T-Mobile Home Run Derby in Washington.
"100 percent," Hoskins said, asked if hitting in the Derby helped. "I think it kind of forced me to be aggressive to the pull side. I haven't done that very well this year. For whatever reason, I've been a little more passive on the inner-half of the plate. In the Derby, I was able to pull balls more true and keep the ball a lot straighter instead of hooking the ball. It seems to be carrying over."
It is an important development for the Phillies, who are looking for more offense before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Wednesday that the Phillies and Indians are the most serious candidates for Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, who has full no-trade rights.
Jones is not the hitter he has been in the past, but acquiring somebody like him could be what Phillies manager Gabe Kapler calls "value at the margins." He could share time in right field with Nick Williams. He could spell Odubel Herrera in center. He is widely regarded as a tremendous presence in the clubhouse, which could be beneficial the final months of the season.
The Phillies just optioned Aaron Altherr to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, so they are without a fourth outfielder. They actually played Wednesday with just a three-man bench, although they are likely to add a another player as early as Thursday in Cincinnati.
It could be Triple-A outfielder Roman Quinn. Or it could be a player from outside the organization. A source told MLB.com that while the Phillies have inquired about Curtis Granderson, he might not be a first-choice option.
Phillies players said in March that signing Jacob Arrieta sent a message to them in the clubhouse. Another trade or two before Tuesday could send a similar one.
"It's just a vote of confidence, I think from everybody," Hoskins said. "I know the narrative before the year was we're close, but maybe not yet. I think we've proven that's not the case. Obviously, we're a confident bunch. We have a lot of talent in this room. We believe in each other, and I think this series kind of showcased that.
"This is my first deadline. It's interesting, but I think it just means that we're ready to compete into October."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.