Baseball season is long. It’s a season full of peaks and valleys, hot streaks and cold streaks. Who’s hitting, who’s slumping, who deserves more playing time, who needs to sit. All of these and more are common questions during the slog of a 162 game season. Here we’ll quickly break down some storylines and player performances to get a better picture of what is happening with the Phillies on a weekly basis.
Velasquez has no doubt been the biggest surprise so far this season for the Phillies. His 2.95 season ERA is the second best among the Phillies starting staff behind Zack Wheeler. In fact, if you remove his 5 ⅓ innings of relief, he has a 2.30 ERA in 6 starts. Velasquez has allowed no more than three runs in any of his starts. More importantly, he has completed at least five innings in four of his starts and completed six in two of them. Velasquez has a 24-11 K-BB ratio in his four May starts and has only allowed 12 hits total in those starts. Hitters are 5-59 against Velasquez with runners on and 0-36 with runners in scoring position.
The Phillies need Hoskins to step up with all their recent injuries, and Rhys has done just that. Since May 11th, the last day Didi Gregorious, J.T. Realmuto, and Bryce Harper were all in the lineup, Hoskins is slashing .340/.459/.520. Hoskins has two home runs in his last four games after not homering since April 26th. His K-BB ratio has evened out over the last 15 games as well, with 10 K’s to 8 walks.
The Great Bamboo-ino has found himself in the lineup in increasing amounts due to injuries and the struggles of Alec Bohm, and he has taken advantage of it. Miller is hitting .368 over his last 15 games with a 1.047 OPS. In an offense that was inconsistent before suffering injuries to its best hitters, Miller has been a steady source of base hits. A very encouraging sign for Miller is that he’s hitting .375 against left handers, including three of his five home runs.
Segura has rebounded a bit since his mid-May dip. The Phillies infielder is 8 for his last 19 across the last five games. He was 4-20 in the previous five games. Segura’s .328 AVG would be sixth in the race for the batting title if he qualified.
Suarez has appeared in just six games this year, but he has yet to allow an earned run in nine innings pitched. He’s allowed just four hits and three walks while collecting nine strikeouts.
The Phillies’ management of injuries has been an abject disaster this season. They have purposely shorthanded themselves multiple times trying to hold out hope for players to not go on the injured list, only for them to go on the IL anyway. More on this here.
Much of Harper’s struggles could be attributed to the point above. But still, he has struggled mightily of late, going 2 for his last 25 with 13 strikeouts to one walk. He was finally placed on the IL on May 25th, so it is to be determined exactly how much time he will miss.
Bradley’s return from injury has not exactly gone to plan. The right hander was reactivated from the IL on May 18th and has allowed 4 total ones with one unearned in just three total innings pitched. He’s allowed four hits including a home run and three walks to three strikeouts. Perhaps Bradley is still suffering some lingering effects from his oblique strain. Nevertheless, he has now allowed five earned runs in just six innings pitched on the season.
Bohm is just 2 for his last 22 with 10 strikeouts to two walks over the last week. His season slash line is now down to .212/.249/.318. He has grounded into 11 double plays, the most in the majors. In addition, Bohm has made numerous errors and misplays in the field, including a throwing error that resulted in a big inning for Boston on Friday night. The 24 year-old has 8 errors so far and has -10 defensive runs saved. Both of those are the worst among qualified third basemen.
Bohm is not alone in playing poor defense. The Phillies as a team are dead last in DRS with a -32. They have 29 errors in 49 games. For comparison, in 2018 with Rhys Hoskins in left field and Carlos Santana playing third at times, they had -89 DRS and 123 errors in 162 games. The Phillies have 12 games in which they have allowed one or more unearned runs to score. They are 2-10 in those games. The worst news is that there really isn’t any way to fix it mid-season, at least barring a trade. But still, one or two defensive-first trades aren’t going to save what is currently one of the league’s worst defenses.