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.
Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and J.T. Realmuto are slashing a combined .281/.363/.551 with 36 RBI and 17 home runs. Hoskins is tied for the league lead in HR with 8, Harper is two behind him and is seventh in OPS, and Realmuto is among the top ten catchers in AVG and OPS. The Phillies best hitters are producing through the first roughly 15% of the season.
Miller has slowly hit his way into more playing time after Andrew McCutchen’s struggles. The lefty’s average is up to .345 on the season with an .815 OPS to boot. Over the last week, Miller is 7-15 in four games played. He should continue to get starts more regularly, despite showing some shaky defense in left field.
Wheeler turned in a dominant start against the Cardinals on Monday, going eight innings while allowing just one hit and three walks with nine strikeouts. The only run charged to him was a runner inherited by Hector Neris in the ninth that he allowed to score. Wheeler has allowed 3 or fewer runs in four of his five starts in 2021 and has finished at least six innings in three of them.
Playing at home
The Phillies are 8-4 at Citizens Bank Park this season. They are hitting .260 with a .758 OPS as a team with a wRC+ of 109. Their pitchers have a 3.47 ERA and are allowing just a .659 OPS against.
Hitters not named Harper, Hoskins, or Realmuto
The Phillies regulars that do not have these names are slashing a combined .227/.290/.319. Their fourth best hitter had been Jean Segura who is currently on the IL. This lack of team production is one of the biggest reasons the Phillies are under .500 despite the big three having great starts.
Back of the rotation starters
Matt Moore and Chase Anderson combined are 2-5 with a 7.81 ERA. If you add in Vince Velasquez’s start in place of Moore in Colorado, that number actually lowers to 7.16. Regardless, the number 4 and 5 spots in the rotation have greatly hurt the Phillies chances this season.
Playing on the road
The Phillies are 3-8 away from Citizens Bank Park this season. They are slashing a paltry .211/.258/.360 and have a 26.9 K%. They have the fifth worst wRC+ on the road at 69. The pitching has been even worse away from home, sporting a 5.89 ERA and an .848 OPS against. They have the third worst record on the road, behind only the Rockies (1-7) and the Cubs (2-6). This is the continuation of an alarming trend, as the Phillies have a record of 79-122 on the road since 2018.
Bohm’s average is now down to .198 as he continues his early sophomore slump. However, his expected batting average is .260 and his batting average on balls in play is just .237. Those numbers back up the eye test that says while Bohm isn’t making great contact, he is putting enough on balls that should be base hits but are finding gloves. However, his K% is still way up at 26.4%.
McCutchen’s struggles have given way to Brad Miller starting to get more playing time in his place. Cutch is just 3-24 over his last seven games, however his K-BB ratio evened out a little in the span with 7 and 7. His struggles are now carrying over to the field as well after he misplayed a ball against St. Louis. The biggest concern has been McCutchen’s lack of good contact. His solid contact percentage is 182nd out of 254 qualified hitters and his barrel percentage is even worse at 235th. It is now increasingly looking like McCutchen’s better days are behind him and he has become a liability.