Phillies down but not out

The Phillies are now 10-11 through 21 games. The team has things to fix, and they need to fix them quickly. However, if these holes are improved quickly, the Phillies can make the playoffs. Let’s run through the major holes in the team.

One of the places that is a major hole for the Phillies is the position of center field. Center field, arguably the most important position on a baseball field, aside from the pitcher, has been a flaming disappointment for the Phillies this year. Although the defense in center field has been good, including the highlight of the season, (Roman Quinn throwing a strike to Catcher JT Realmuto to throw out Ozzie Albies of the Braves attempting to score on a sac fly in the 10th inning of opening day) their hitting has been nothing short of abysmal.

Let’s start with the number 12. That represents the amount of consecutive games the Phillies had without a hit from the starting center-fielder. That simply can not happen at any position.

The Phillies have had 3 players start at center field at least once this year. Those 3 players are Adam Haseley, Roman Quinn, and Mickey Moniak. The 3 batting averages sit for those players at .190 for Haseley, .065 for Quinn, and .125 for Moniak. They are a combined 9 for 76 from Phillies center fielders. This comes out to an average of .118, and they only have 1 home run through 19 games.

If the Phillies wish to right the ship, center fielding will have to be resolved. The team has a couple options. Trading could work, or, if nothing changes, they will have to call up Odubel Herrera.

The second hole the Phillies have at the moment is their struggling Left Fielder, Andrew McCutchen, who has had a less than ideal start to this season.

McCutchen’s first 19 games have gone to the tune of 10 for 65, which is a .154 average. This is a problem, considering that McCutchen is the lead off hitter and gets the most plate appearances.

The one advantage McCutchen does bring is the fact that he is a veteran and his numbers should not stay this low. Also, he does walk a lot and therefore has an on base percentage of .300. This means he gets on base 3 out of 10 times. McCutchen getting more hits along with the walks will be one thing that majorly helps this team.

The third big hole is the pitching. The Phillies have 3 good starting pitchers at the top of their rotation in Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin. However once we get past those 3, the 4 and 5 pitcher in the rotation and the bullpen are not on a good course.

In the rotation, pitchers 4 and 5 are Matt Moore and Chase Anderson. Both of these pitchers have been struggling so far this season. Matt Moore through 3 starts is 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA and 2.36 WHIP. On the other hand, Anderson is 0-3 in 4 starts with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. 

As well as those numbers, neither pitcher is getting deep into games, with Anderson averaging about 4 innings pitched per start and Moore averaging under 4 innings per start.

Moving onto the bullpen. It is safe to say that the bullpen has been on a steady decline in about every spot. Closer Hector Neris is blowing saves, Connor Brogdon is getting beat up all of a sudden, and long reliever David Hale still hasn’t figured things out. These things need to be fixed if the Phillies want to contend for the postseason.

Although the Phillies have many holes at the moment, the team is not unfixable and with a few changes and improved play they can come back in the season and compete for a playoff spot.

All stats as of 4/25/21