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2018 Phillies Report Card: 3rd Marking Period

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What started out promising has taken a sudden turn for the worrying

Philadelphia Phillies v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Well, the second “half” of this season could be going better.

Let’s face it: We all kind of figured some sort of reckoning was coming for the Phillies. They were in first in the East at the All-Star break in spite of themselves, in some ways, and although they have a number of players good enough to power an imperfect team into an improbable playoff berth, it never felt like the ride through the end of the season to the playoffs would be quite so easy.

I particularly don’t enjoy how well this paragraph from last marking period’s post holds up:

What’s so strange about this Phillies team is how wildly imperfect they are, despite being in a playoff position. Their defense is questionable, multiple players are playing regularly out of position, the pitching (in relief especially) is a ball of constant tension, and the offense often disappears for days at a time. If you spend too much time thinking about it, the Phillies start to look a little out of place in first.

Oops.

Between then and now, the Phillies have made a series of moves to try and strengthen their position for a playoff push. For my money, they’ve all been sound decisions: Low-cost rentals that improve some areas of weakness, don’t block positions in 2019, and help clear up the impending 40-man logjam coming this winter. Good results don’t always follow good process, though, and instead of adding to their division lead, the Phillies now find themselves three games back in the East, and two games out of the second Wild Card spot. They’ll need to finish strong to get back into playoff position, but they are by no means dead in the water. Not yet.

This marking period covers games from 7/20 through 8/24. The grades are subjective.

HITTERS

The Good: Rhys Hoskins (July) and Roman Quinn (August)

Hoskins absolutely pulverized everything in the two weeks following the All-Star Game, but has cooled off in August.

Quinn has been part-time, but has slashed .341/.372/.512 in 43 PA, giving a much needed boost both to the Phillies’ bench depth and outfield rotation.

The Bad: Cesar Hernandez

We’re getting a taste of rookie Cesar these past six weeks. The walks are still there, but the strikeouts are piling up (30 in 143 PA to set a new career high for the season). His August (.241/.344/.361) has been...fine, if not mercurial.

As long as he keeps his OBP around .340 and up, he’s fine as a lead-off option, so it’s a bit of a stretch to say he’s been “bad.” But he’s also thrown away some ABs (see: Saturday in the 9th inning) even in the midst of good games. Something just feels a little off, here.

The Ugly: Asdrubal Cabrera and Odubel Herrera

Brace yourselves. In August:

Asdrubal: .197/.250/.352
Odubel: .183/.210/.267

Not good enough. Some of it’s due to correct itself (Odubel, for one, isn’t really striking out, which always leaves room for optimism in spite of the awful struggles; his .204 BABIP should come up), but it has to correct sooner than later if the team’s going to make an honest push through September.

The Grades

Hitter Report Card 7/20-8/24

Player MP1 MP2 MP3 MP4 Final Grade
Player MP1 MP2 MP3 MP4 Final Grade
Jorge Alfaro C+ B- C
Aaron Altherr C- F Inc.
Justin Bour - - Inc.
Asdrubal Cabrera - - D+
Dylan Cozens - Inc. Inc.
J.P. Crawford C- Inc. -
Pedro Florimon B- Inc. -
Maikel Franco B+ B A-
Cesar Hernandez A- A- C-
Odubel Herrera A C C-
Rhys Hoskins A- B B+
Scott Kingery C- C- D+
Andrew Knapp D+ A- D
Trevor Plouffe - Inc. -
Roman Quinn - - A-
Wilson Ramos - - Inc.
Carlos Santana C+ B- B-
Jesmuel Valentin Inc. D Inc.
Mitch Walding - Inc. Inc.
Nick Williams C B+ A-

PITCHERS

The Good: Aaron Nola

A steadying force. A stopper. An ace. Nola has forced his way into Cy Young Award talk with a season that’s been exceptional at every turn. He is truly an essential player for this team.

The Bad: Zach Eflin

I couldn’t help but feel for Eflin was he was optioned to the minors earlier this month as part of some roster trickery. It didn’t really feel merited at the time, but the truth is that Eflin’s second half has been a few clicks below what looked like a breakout first half. His 5.63 ERA and .871 OPS allowed - seven homers in 32 innings! - in six starts since the break have left a bruise.

The Ugly: Seranthony Dominguez

Maybe he’s gassed. Maybe the word is out and hitters can time him up. Maybe maybe maybe. It almost feels unfair to place this guy, whose emergence onto the Major League scene was so immediately impactful, down from “The Good” to this spot just a couple months later, but there’s really no avoiding it.

You can’t deny the stuff. He still hits 100 MPH with cut and 93 with his changeup (lol). But he’s only finished 10.1 innings in his 12 post-ASG appearances, walking seven and allowing three homers, including a demoralizing walk-off to Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals last week.

The Grades

Pitcher Report Card 7/20-8/24

Player MP1 MP2 MP3 MP4 Final Grade
Player MP1 MP2 MP3 MP4 Final Grade
Drew Anderson - Inc. Inc.
Victor Arano A B+ B
Jake Arrieta A- B B
Luis Avilan - - Inc.
Zac Curtis Inc. Inc. - - Inc.
Austin Davis - Inc. C+
Enyel De Los Santos - Inc. Inc.
Seranthony Dominguez Inc. A C-
Zach Eflin Inc. A- C-
Pedro Florimon lol - -
Luis Garcia B+ C- A-
Tommy Hunter B C A-
Drew Hutchison B Inc. - - B-
Scott Kingery - - ugh
Mark Leiter - Inc. Inc.
Ben Lively D - -
Aaron Loup - - Inc.
Hoby Milner D- Inc. - - D-
Adam Morgan B- D- B+
Hector Neris C- D- A-
Pat Neshek - Inc. A-
Aaron Nola A A- A
Nick Pivetta B- B- C
Roman Quinn - - ugh
Edubray Ramos B+ B+ Inc.
Yacksel Rios B+ Inc. Inc.
Ranger Suarez - - Inc.
Jake Thompson Inc. Inc. Inc. - Inc.
Jesmuel Valentin - lol -
Vince Velasquez C+ B B

Now, it’s your turn! Vote below.

Poll

What grade would you give the 2018 Phillies from the All-Star break to today?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    A
    (102 votes)
  • 14%
    A-
    (403 votes)
  • 38%
    B+
    (1066 votes)
  • 23%
    B
    (642 votes)
  • 9%
    B-
    (250 votes)
  • 3%
    C+
    (98 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (75 votes)
  • 2%
    C-
    (62 votes)
  • 1%
    D+
    (33 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (17 votes)
  • 0%
    D-
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (18 votes)
2776 votes total Vote Now