Segura continues to get looks at third, Kingery at second

Scott Kingery. (Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports)

One of the largest questions surrounding the Phillies heading into spring training was how they would handle the defensive alignments involving Jean Segura and Scott Kingery.

While general manager Matt Klentak didn’t have an overly active offseason, he did plenty to shake up the Phillies’ infield by cutting Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco.

He quickly signed Didi Gregorius after, usurping Segura from his natural position at shortstop. Initial diagnostics suggested that Segura would make the move to second base while Scott Kingery took over at third base for Opening Day.

Segura spent seven of his first eight MLB seasons entirely at shortstop. The lone exception came in 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks when he played 142 games at second, hence the idea to move him there.

But first-year manager Joe Girardi and the Phillies made it known that they would try Segura at third in hopes of moving Kingery to his natural position at second base.

So far, the results have been plenty promising.

Segura got his sixth start in the last two weeks at the hot corner on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he’s looked comfortable enough to keep the experiment going.

“What I like is it’s smooth. It’s not panicky,” Girardi said last week. “It looks like he’s been doing it.”

And he’s doing exactly what is expected at the plate, too. Entering Wednesday’s game, Segura was slashing .357/.357/.500 with four RBI.

Meanwhile, Kingery is showing to be just fine back at his natural position, which he hasn’t spent much time at while in the majors.

Over his two MLB seasons, the 25-year-old utility extraordinaire played a combined 14 games at second.

“To me, I think my skill set really plays well at second base,” Kingery admitted.

The lone — and large — question revolving around Kingery is his offensive abilities.

He slashed .242/.291/.407 over his first two seasons with the Phillies with 27 home runs and 90 RBI in a combined 273 games.

Spring training hasn’t provided the best start offensively for him, either, as he was batting .200/.278/.467 before Wednesday’s tilt against the Pirates — which he started at second base.

Philadelphia’s shuffling around the infield might still be a prevalent factor in the coming months regardless of Segura’s initial securities at third.

If Kingery struggles and top prospect Alec Bohm is ready to make the jump to the majors, Segura could see his way back to second to make room for the youngster at the hot corner.

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