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.
Hoskins is becoming a mainstay in this section. The Phillies first baseman has three home runs and an OPS of 1.143 over his last seven games played. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Hoskins leads the Phillies in average, home runs, RBI, runs, OBP, slugging, OPS, hits, and doubles. If you’re keeping track, that would be every offensive category except stolen bases, walks, and triples. It’s up to you to decide if that says more about Hoskins or the Phillies.
If you take into account Herrera’s on-field performance on its own, he has clearly saved the Phillies center field position, at least for now. Herrera is hitting .276 with a .794 OPS in 34 games played. He hit two home runs in a game for the first time since 2018 on Tuesday night. It is almost certainly not sustainable (a near 47% hard hit percentage and .311 BABIP suggest regression is coming) but has been a major improvement among the Phillies previous center fielders. However, taking Herrera’s suspension following an arrest for domestic violence into account, the Phillies should be embarrassed and ashamed that they had no better options than to play Herrera.
Torreyes shouldn’t be playing at the expense of Nick Maton, but it’s hard to argue against the results right now. Torreyes has hit consistently at a time when the Phillies were without some of their best hitters. He is now up to .317 on the season and hit his first home run since 2017, just the fifth of his seven year career. There are only three other extra base hits to go with that homer and just two walks, but Torreyes is at least hitting something. That’s more than most of the Phillies other hitters can say.
Maton is 0 for his last 8 in his last seven games and 0 for his last 15 at bats dating back to May 19th. This isn’t entirely on him, as he has seen a dramatic decrease in playing time over the last few weeks, with just four starts since May 19th. Maton is struggling, but it will be difficult for a young player to right the ship with such sporadic playing time. The decision to effectively bench such a promising young player is confusing at best, as manager Joe Girardi allowed Roman Quinn to attempt to fight out of his struggles and is still starting the struggling Alec Bohm.
Speaking of Bohm, he is 4 for his 24 across his last seven, with three of the hits coming on Tuesday night. Bohm hit just .200 in May with an OPS of .552. His strikeout percentage of 26.7% is tenth worst among National League hitters. Perhaps that 3-5 performance to start June will snap Bohm out of his struggles. If not, the Phillies will seriously need to entertain the idea of sending him to Lehigh Valley to work things out.
McCutchen’s late April to mid-May hot streak has ended and his struggles have returned. Since reaching a high water mark on May 14th when he brought his average up to .230 with a .749 OPS, McCutchen is hitting .164 with a .691 OPS and a strikeout rate of 31%. His season average is now back down to .209 and he is 9 for 55 over his last 15 games, with four of those hits coming in the last three days. However, McCutchen also had a strong performance to start June like Bohm, with his second two home run game of the season.
Miller is currently mired in a 3-25 slump, with ten strikeouts to two walks during that span. He is also just 1 for 10 plate appearances with runners in scoring position over that span and 2 for 12 with runners on in general. Injuries have forced Miller into more RBI opportunities of late and he has not come through when needed.
Velasquez turned in his first real dud of a start this season on Memorial Day. He lasted just three innings in Cincinnati and allowed 6 earned runs, two home runs, five hits, and three walks. It was his first time allowing more than three runs in his 7 starts and only the third time he failed to last at least five innings. Velasquez’s season ERA jumped from 2.95 to 4.08 after the start.
The wild lefty has allowed just three runs on four hits in his last seven appearances, but he has walked 7 in just 5 ⅔ innings over that span. His walk percentage of 20.2% is the third worst among qualified relievers in baseball. In fact, Alvarado has walked 15 of the last 52 batters he’s faced.