If there's one thing everybody agrees on about the Phillies, it's that the roster is too damn old. You've made some Senior Citizens Bank Park jokes, you know the grim factoid about how teams with so many mid-30s regulars historically have fared, you've heard the nickname "Ruin Tomorrow Junior" so often that you sometimes need a moment to remember it's not the guy's actual name.
But baseball has a way of confounding even the strongest narratives, at least for awhile, and so maybe we shouldn't be totally shocked that through their first twenty games, it's pretty much been only the old guys who have kept the Phillies viable with a .500 record. If it isn't quite a case of "the older, the better," it's pretty damn close:
Among the position players, the 26-and-unders have combined for a collective -0.8 WAR. The players constitutionally eligible to serve in the presidency have combined to put up 2.5 wins above replacement. (Yes, more than half of it is Utley. Like that's a bad thing?)
If anything, the old=good, young=bad trend is even more pronounced on the pitching side:
|Justin De Fratus||26||54||-0.1|
So the two oldest pitchers on the roster have been worth a win and a half above replacement. Everyone else? Minus 1.1 WAR.
Yes, yes: small sample size, vagaries of early season schedule, et cetera et cetera. I get it. And the Phillies are probably as dead as most of us figured they'd be if the guys in their twenties don't step up when the older guys start acting their age with increased time in the trainer's office. Meanwhile, though, it's fun to see our old heroes getting it done, even as it's at least mildly scary than GM Tomorr--um, Amaro, might overconclude from these early results and add still more been-there, done-that experience to his very well seasoned roster.
(h/t David Murphy, who pointed out yesterday that the "core four" lineup vets are off to very strong starts while Asche, Brown and Revere are struggling. Of course, Revere had a great game last night, which makes these numbers look a little less ugly for the "kids.")