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Phillies Report card

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  • Phillies Report card

    That the Phillies improved is great. Had they played near .500 baseball all season, none of us could have had reason to complain. They didn't do that. They taunted us by being fifteen games over .500 in July, then died on the vine. I said then that if they couldn't start hitting, they would fail because the pitching was not going to hold up. It didn't, and they failed. Here is my assessment position by position.

    1B - Carlos Santana - rating D+ His was a mistaken acquisition. He had two decent months and the rest of the year struggled to hit .200. Yes, he walked a lot, but he also failed to hit a lot. Each time he came to bat with no one on second base, there was the entire left side of the infield without a soul standing there. A simple bunt, and he's got a hit every time. Did he ever do it? Not once in my memory. Don't tell me he's not a bunter. He's a highly paid professional athlete who sure as the blazes can learn. Once defenses get the hint that they're giving him an automatic hit, they will move the third baseman into a normal position and open up the infield. I don't see him as a third baseman, so trade him so Rhys can move back to first base.

    2B - C├ęsar Hernandez - rating C- Another body that should be gone this coming season. While he had a decent .356 OBT, that would have been at least fifty points higher if he had not struck out 155 times, which is at least one hundred too many for a leadoff hitter. He should routinely hit .300 and was on the road to that goal until he apparently contracted the dreaded Freddie Galvis I-gotta-hit-homers disease. Bunt? What's a bunt? As his home run output has gone up, so too has his batting average gone down.

    SS - Scott Kingery - D The guy I thought was a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year turned out to be overwhelmed by major league pitching. His future is, however, still looks bright, but I would like to see him playing second base this coming year.

    3B - Maikel Franco - C+ Old Mikey showed signs of improving this season, but he's best value is as trade bait. The experiment is over. On the other hand, if they keep him it won't be a bad move - if he can sustain the improvement.

    LF - Rhys Hoskins - B- Great promise but he was playing the wrong position and hurting the team defensively. The home runs were nice, but he went into several protracted slumps that hurt the team and struggled at the plate post All-Star game. 45HR/120RBIs/.285 are realistic expectations for Rhys this coming season, and better is a possibility. He has his first full season under his belt. Now, Rhys, take your place as a superstar.

    CF - Odubel Herrera - D The most frustrating player on the team because his head gets in the way of success. For three straight seasons he has vacillated between baseball's most dangerous hitter and a shockingly sudden decline into mediocrity that makes every opposing pitcher want to face him in the clutch. Once he loses it, he just can't find it again, probably because he is intent on hitting every pitch - good or bad (mostly bad) - 450 feet. He is definitely trade bait. (But trade him to the AL so he doesn't come back to haunt us.)

    RF - Nick Williams - C+ Nice improvement this season but he's a fourth or fifth outfielder.

    C - Jorge Alfaro - C- Woefully inadequate catching skills, and he tries to hit every ball 500 feet, which he just might do if he stopped trying to hit every ball 500 feet. 138 strikeouts in 344 ABs is not going to cut it, yet he teases us with the appearance of having good bat control by regularly getting hits to right field. His best days are ahead of him, and his catching should improve with experience, although he's got a LONG way to go to reach Chooch's vaunted status in that regard.

    Bench - D There wasn't much there all season. Roman Quinn deserves a shot at center field next season. But will he ever be able to play an entire season? Will Aaron Altherr ever become the outstanding five-tool player expected of him? Will J. P. Crawford ever do anything? Will Pedro Florimon stop breaking body parts?

    Bullpen - C- Inconsistent as hell and grossly overworked. The pen needs a talent upgrade, including a bonafide set-up man and closer and a manager who knows how to use them.

    Starters - C Other than the magnificent Nola (he's most of the good in this grade), the rest of the starting staff ranked so-so to poor. They started the season well and as long as they were doing well, the team was in first place. But everyone not named Nola - and to some extent Arietta - couldn't sustain it over the long haul, and Arrieta has assumed fourth or fifth starter status at best. Velasquez is the most frustrating. He gave up less than a hit an inning and struck out more than one an inning, but he put 67 batters on board with walks and HBP, gave up sixteen HRs, and did all that at the worst possible moments, resulting in a bloated 4.85 ERA and another losing record. His experiment as a Phillies starter is over.

    Manager - D+ He took the worthwhile tool of analytics and turned it into a religion that he worshiped with something approaching blind fanaticism. And it all began with the debacle in game one of the season. Too often it seemed as if he were managing the paper cards of a Strat-O-Matic team rather than human beings. He did some of the dumbest baseball moves I've ever seen in seventy-one years of playing and watching baseball. (Bat the rabbit-fast Roman Quinn behind slow-footed Rhys Hoskins? Remove Scott Kingery from the game before his first at bat? etc.) He overworked the bullpen and repeatedly showed no confidence in his players, instead resorting to preconceived numerical biases to address a given situation. You can't manage 162 games as you would the seventh game of the World Series or you will hurt your team. And that is exactly what he did. All I can say in his favor is that there seemed to be no major issues in the clubhouse, but I doubt that can or will last.

    What free agents should they sign or receive in trades? PITCHERS!!!! Starters and relievers both. That's right, not the overpriced Machado or Harper - although I do recommend signing Wilson Ramos. Even with woeful hitting, the Phillies were in first place until the bottom three pitchers tanked and the bullpen faded into exhaustion. I also feel as if Altherr and Kingery will become quality hitters, and they already are solid defensively and fleet footed.
    Last edited by tbng; 10-29-2018, 08:32 AM.

  • #2
    I think that Nick Williams deserves to be an EVERYDAY outfielder and that after being a regular after his June 30. 2017 major league debut for the second half of 2017, that new manager, Gabe Kapler did Williams a great disservice by reducing Williams' playing time and making him a platon player sharing time with Aaron Altherr for the last starting outfield job in 2018.

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    • #3
      Perhaps, but Altherr still is the more talented player. That said, this must be the season that Altherr finally puts it together or it's adios muchacho de Alemania. As to Gabe Kapler, he did a great disservice to a lot of players by treating them like computer programs for 162 games.

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