The Phillies wrapped up their awful first road trip of 2022 on Wednesday. Through four games in Miami and three in Colorado, the team went 2-5. They ended the road trip on a positive note, erupting for a 9-6 win in Colorado over the Rockies. They will now have their first off day of the season before playing host to three with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Bohm continues to look like an entirely different player at the plate compared to 2021. He clubbed a two-run home run to the opposite field on Wednesday and is hitting .476 on the season with a 1.197 OPS. Bohm has doubled his walk rate and slashed his strikeout rate over 20% in the early going. His 95.1 exit velocity is second on the team to Rhys Hoskins’ 95.3 entering play Wednesday. Bohm has forced his way into the lineup despite his shaky defense.
Camargo has been a welcome surprise to start the year. He went 4-5 on Wednesday including his first home run in the majors since 2020, a three-run shot to left field in Colorado. The utility infielder is hitting .382 on the year with a .946 OPS. His amount of playing time has been a point of debate, but there’s no debate he has played well when he’s on the field. He should see an increased amount of playing time but at the expense of Didi Gregorious, not Alec Bohm or Bryson Stott.
Castellanos continues to hit, hitting .308 over the last week despite an 0-9 stretch and .306 on the season as a whole. He ended an 0-9 spell with a three-hit game on Wednesday including a home run to dead center field. Most of the Phillies’ big bats have started slow, but Castellanos seems to have picked up right where he left off in his stellar 2021 campaign.
After a dreadful start to the year, Vierling has quietly started to hit. He’s 5 for his last 16 over his last seven games played. The 25-year-old is still just hitting .172 on the year in 33 plate appearances on the year so far, however.
The first of the two Phillies big acquisitions is slowly starting to show signs of life. Schwarber hit a mammoth home run in Colorado and drove in a run with a hit by pitch. He’s now homered in three of the last four games and has collected five hits over that span. He’s raised his season average from .094 to .170 over the last five days.
They continue to own the Phillies, especially in Miami which is becoming the Phillies’ house of horrors. They took three of four games and totaled 38 hits and outscored Philadelphia 25-17.
Girardi isn’t the sole reason for the Phillies rough start, but he hasn’t done much to soothe it either. He has yet to settle on a consistent lineup for more than a day or two, left starting pitchers in too long, made puzzling bullpen choices, and has continued to show a reluctance to give productive young players playing time. His seeming refusal to start Alec Bohm over the struggling Didi Gregorious is his most blatant misstep so far. Girardi is now in the last year of a three-year contract and is managing like his job is on the line. Perhaps it should be.
Familia was called upon in a questionable decision on Tuesday night in relief of Seranthony Dominguez in the seventh inning with two outs. He then promptly allowed a three-run home run to C.J. Cron that proved to be the winning runs for the Rockies. Familia entered the game Wednesday in the seventh again. This time, he allowed three hits and another run on a double. He’s allowed six hits and three runs in just four innings of work.
The Phillies apparent new leadoff hitter is 5 for his last 26 with five strikeouts and just one walk. Segura is not a high on-base percentage player (.330 career OBP), meaning he doesn’t walk a whole lot despite not striking out much either. He does not provide much offense outside of the base hit. If Segura is going to continue to hit leadoff, he will have to get those base hits to be able to jumpstart the Phillies offense.
Wheeler had a nightmare start on Easter Sunday, as he went just three innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits. His velocity was dipping as low as 93 MPH in the short outing. Wheeler is still behind most starting pitchers in terms of readiness due to missing practically all of spring training, so it isn’t time to be concerned just yet. However, the velocity dip is noteworthy and something to keep an eye on, especially considering his large workload in 2021.
Phillies Starting Pitching
The Phillies rotation as a whole has been very underwhelming to start the year. They entered Wednesday’s start with the third worst ERA in the Majors at 5.16. Kyle Gibson has been the only Phillies starter to post a quality start, as he has two in three starts. Wheeler and Ranger Suarez are still ramping up after a shortened spring training for both pitchers. so improvement should be expected. But, the rotation’s failure to perform has exposed the Phillies biggest weakness, namely their bullpen.
They showed signs of awakening from their dormant start on Wednesday, but the Phillies offense as a whole continues to disappoint early on. They scored three runs or less in three of the seven games on the road trip. Curiously, they are still in the top ten in two important offensive categories. They are eighth in OPS and sixth in average as offense league-wide is down on the whole to start 2022.
Check out the Phillies’ highlights over the first week of the season here in the first of our Phillies highlight video series!