Tommy Joseph has quietly started to turn it on in May. Entering Tuesday's game, the first baseman was hitting .333 with a .417 on-base percentage this month.
In April, he batted .179 with an OBP of .222.
Joseph on Tuesday night continued to see the ball well, going 1 for 2 with a solo homer in the first inning — back-to-back with Michael Saunders — and reaching base three more times via walk.
"At some point guys make adjustments," Pete Mackanin said after a 10-9 loss to the Mariners (see Instant Replay). "And he's been making adjustments and he looks much better at the plate right now. He hit the home run, it was a nice-looking line drive. He's being more selective and not swinging at pitches out of the zone and looking for pitches he can handle."
Joseph seems to have made the necessary adjustments, which stem from hitting coach Matt Stairs, who before the season had stressed the importance of plate discipline.
"I've been working with Stairs quite a bit," Joseph said. "We've been talking about making little adjustments and trying to stay within myself … trying to simplify things a little bit."
After the lackluster April, it was only natural to wonder if the Phillies would consider bringing up first base prospect Rhys Hoskins, who has been tearing up Triple A pitching. Hoskins is hitting .330 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in 31 games for Lehigh Valley.
But job security is the last thing on Joseph's mind.
"No, no I mean Rhys is a good player," Joseph said. "I know that. Everybody in this organization knows that, but that's not up to me to worry about — job security or anything like that."
Joseph still has only three homers in his first 27 games of 2017. As a rookie last season, he put up seven over his first 27 games and finished the year with 21.
A good sign for Joseph this month has been working more counts. That should lead to more drivable pitches, as shown in his first at-bat on Tuesday.