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Phillies’ Midseason Evaluations

The first half of the baseball season is mercifully at an end in Philadelphia.

At 29-58, the Philadelphia Phillies are easily the worst team in baseball. They’re the only team that has failed to reach the 30-win mark by the All-Star break. They’ve had once-promising players disappoint and regress. There have been a few bright spots here and there, but this has by and large been a lost season for this baseball team.

Let’s take a deeper look at how the organization has performed, what has gone right, what has gone wrong, and what needs to change moving forward.

Pete Mackanin And The Coaching Staff 

It’s hard to really get on Mackanin for this trainwreck of a team. This a roster that’s just full of holes, and even the best managers in baseball could only do so much with what’s on this club.

That being said, I don’t think Mackanin is the long-term answer, and I think there’s a decent chance he’ll be let go after the season.

It’s not even so much that Mackanin has done a poor job, but when you have a team that’s on pace to lose well over 100 games, its probably in everyone’s best interest if the franchise just starts over with a fresh voice next season.

The Offense

Aaron Altherr: One of few bright spots of this roster, Altherr seized an opportunity to win an everyday job in the outfield. He’s hit .284 with 14 homers and 44 RBI’s, and he may well be a piece that this team can build around moving forward.

Maikel Franco: Franco may be the most disappointing guy on the roster. Expected to be the team’s cleanup hitter, Franco has hit just .217 with 13 homers and 45 RBI’s. If you look at a typical stat line for Franco, you’ll most likely see an “0-4” on many nights. He has the occasional game where he pops one out of the yard, but the games where he’s an easy out have really just killed this team all season. He’s wild and undisciplined at the plate, and his status as a building block is very much in doubt.

Freddy Galvis: Freddy hits around .250, and is on pace for 20 homers and around 65 RBI’s. That’s solid production from the shortstop position. I think Galvis is a piece that a team can with, but obviously he needs to be a part of a much better lineup.

Cesar Hernandez: Before going on the disabled list, Hernandez was establishing himself as a solid everyday second baseman, hitting .277 at the top of the order. Cesar may wind up being a trade chip for the Phils at some point, its unclear if they want to commit to him at second or potentially try him at third base once Scott Kingery is ready to join the majors.

Odubel Herrera: He’s right there with Maikel Franco as one of the most frustrating, disappointing players on the roster. Herrera is just a constant source of boneheaded plays and mistakes. He can be streaky, but ultimately this isn’t the kind of guy that I think the Phillies should build around.

Tommy Joseph: After recovering from a wretched start in April, Joseph in on pace for 30 homers and close to 90 RBI’s. However, I just don’t get the sense that Joseph is really anything special. I think he’s a starting first baseman on bad teams in the majors, a guy who puts up decent enough numbers, but isn’t really a great player. I think Rhys Hoskins has much more legitimate upside, and the Phils would be wise to trade Joseph sometime before next season begins.

Nick Williams: Recently called up, has looked good in his first few weeks in the majors. One of the key guys to watch in the second half.

Howie Kendrick: If he could ever get himself healthy, the Phillies would be able to get a decent piece back for him in a trade.

Daniel Nava: The 34-year old has been a pleasant surprise, hitting around .300 all year while serving as a fourth outfielder. Some team should have interest in him as a bench addition before the deadline.

Cameron Rupp: Very disappointing offensively, hasn’t provided nearly the same pop that he did a year ago.

Andrew Knapp: He’s played himself into nearly a 50-50 split at the catcher position with Cameron Rupp. He’s held his own, hitting .250, but you don’t get the sense he’s more than just an average reserve catcher.

Brock Stassi: Best story out of Spring Training didn’t carry over his success to the regular season.

Cameron Perkins: Got a look as the team’s leadoff hitter, and couldn’t handle it. Probably doesn’t belong in the majors, but he’ll stick around as a spare-part outfielder.

Ty Kelly: Fringe major-leaguer that’s had a handful of big hits for this bad team.

Andres Blanco: Good clubhouse guy, but he’s had an absolutely terrible year at the plate. He’s hit just .151 with one homer and five RBI’s. He’s playing out his last days as a Phillie.

The Pitching Rotation

Jeremy Hellickson: At 5-5 with a 4.49 ERA, Hellickson has been up-and-down throughout 2017. He came out of the gates on fire, posting a 4-0 mark with a 1.80 ERA in five starts in April, only to come crashing down to earth with a 7.03 ERA in May. He’s pitched much better of late, and may still have trade value before the deadline. He’s only allowed more than four runs in four of his 18 starts. He’s a quality veteran arm that can bring some stability to a rotation.

Aaron Nola: Nola has rediscovered himself, and become the ace of the staff. Nola has thrown seven innings or more in five of his last seven starts, and has a 3.59 ERA for the season. If he holds this form for most of the second half, the Phillies have a legitimate top-end starter to build their rotation around in the future.

Jerad Eickhoff: It’s been a frustrating year for Eickhoff, who finally got his first win on his final start before the break. Eickhoff was strong in April, posting a 3.56 ERA in first five starts, but has been mediocre ever since. Injury, and mental fatigue from his poor win-loss record have probably played a role in his struggles.

Vince Velasquez: An absolute disaster. Before landing on the disabled list, Velasquez had all kinds of problems on the mound. Constantly running into high pitch counts, Velasquez often struggled to just get through five innings, going deeper than five just four times in 10 starts. And then his durability issues popped up again, and he hasn’t pitched since May 30th. The bullpen is the future for Velasquez, its just a matter of when.

Nick Pivetta: Pivetta has quietly been a pretty nice surprise. His numbers aren’t great on the surface, but he’s been strong in four of his last five starts, going seven innings in three of those appearances. He’s developed nicely since joining the rotation at the end of April, and he’s going to get a chance to continue to prove he can stick over the second half.

Ben Lively: Lively has more than held his own in seven starts, posting a solid 3.80 ERA and only giving the team less than five innings once. He was the odd man out of the rotation once Eickhoff came off of the disabled list, but he likely returns when/if Jeremy Hellickson gets traded.

Mark Leiter: Leiter was pretty uninspiring as a reliever, but actually made three decent spot starts while filling in for an injured Jerad Eickhoff. He’s in the mix if and when the rotation needs an extra arm at some point.

Zach Eflin: Made a handful of decent starts, and then was absolutely abused for 22 runs in his final three appearances. I’d be surprised if Eflin ever returns to the majors in any kind of meaningful role, he’s been surpassed by other young arms in the system at this point.

Clay Buchholz: Made two poor starts, landed on the disabled list with a season-ending injury, and has happily been collecting his $12 million ever since.

The Bullpen

Hector Neris: Can Neris be the closer long-term? He’s been shaky in the role so far, but don’t forget that it took former Phillie Ryan Madson some time to settle into the role too before flourishing as one of the league’s best back in 2011. Luckily for Neris, this is the perfect season for him to develop. Hopefully he can finish the season strong and establish a hold on the role for next year.

Pat Neshek: The Phillies’ lone All-Star. Neshek’s 1.27 ERA has made him a prime trade piece, and his days in Philadelphia are numbered.

Joaquin Benoit: A disappointing signing. Benoit hasn’t been a total disaster, but he hasn’t provided the backend stability that the team hoped for. He’ll be traded at some point, but I think the team may have to wait until the August deadline to do something with him.

Luis Garcia: He’s pitched well, and may finally be able to stick as a seventh-inning guy.

Edubray Ramo: An absolute gas can. He lost seven games out of the bullpen. His last five appearances before being sent down? Allowed nine runs while recording four outs.

Adam Morgan: Garbage-time long reliever that has no business pitching in any kind of meaningful situation.

Ricardo Pinto: Four scoreless outings in five showings since rejoining the bullpen at the end of June.

Hoby Milner: Has been with the club a few weeks, and has been worked in slowly. Four scoreless showings in five appearances.

Jeanmar Gomez: It’s hard to believe how quickly Gomez’s skill abandoned him. A year ago, Gomez was a potential trade chip for the team. He was a complete and total wreck on the mound all season, and the team had no choice but to release him.

Joely Rodriguez: He was on the roster solely because the team had no other viable left-handed reliever in the system. He never belonged in the majors, and was designated for assignment.

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Posted by on Jul 10 2017. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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