We’ve officially reached the month of July, and the All-Star Game is on the horizon! In this catch-all catch-up article, we’ll explore the last four series and catch up with our minor leaguers to see who might be deserving of a second-half call-up to the big leagues!
First, though, a look ahead to our most likely All-Star Game participants:
Pitching: Roberto Osuna is dominating the votes among closers, but will likely be the only Phillies pitcher on the roster.
Infield: J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius are shoo-ins at this point, and don’t look now, but a streaking Rhys Hoskins is making a late push in the polls for the 1B spot (currently 3rd in the voting).
Outfield: Andrew McCutchen is looking like a highly-likely selection, but Haseley and Harper are nowhere near consideration.
Home Run Derby: Rhys Hoskins leads the team with 25 home runs, putting him in a tie for 5th in the league. He’ll be a likely participant in the festivities. He absolutely RAKED in the past month (plenty to read about below) and is one of the hottest hitters in baseball.
As mentioned before, this is a bit of a catch-all recap (I took my all-star break a bit early and have about a week to make up for), so here’s a condensed look at each of the last four series.
June 19-21 @ Mets; 4-0 Win (Eflin, 7-2), 7-5 Loss (Ray, 4-7), 3-0 Win (Nola, 9-3)
Eflin started the series off right with a complete-game shutout at Citi Field, allowing just 5 hits and striking out 9. Game two of the series was one to forget, as Robbie Ray gave up 7 earned runs in just 1.2 innings of work before being sat down. Nola righted the ship, however, capping off the series with a complete-game shutout of his own. Though it was a high-scoring series for the Phils, most runs came as a result of small ball – a shift from the power-hitting offense of the past month.
June 22-25 @ Braves: 8-4 Win (Wheeler, 7-1), 3-0 Loss (Peacock, 6-4), 7-0 Loss (Eflin, 7-3), 6-4 Win (Arrieta, 3-4)
Eh, a split is a split. It’s like tying but it takes WAY longer. Some high points: Rhys Hoskins homered twice in the series on his way to collecting 5 RBIs, Kyle Garlick went yard twice in his only appearance of the week, and Osuna collected his 22nd save on the season in the series finale. Could be better, could be worse.
June 26-29 vs. Diamondbacks: 7-5 Loss (Nola, 9-4), 3-1 Win (Wheeler, 8-1), 4-2 Win (Peacock, 7-4), 6-4 Win (Arano, 3-1)
After a rough outing from Nola in the series opener that the Phillies couldn’t rally back from, Wheeler and Peacock were simply dominant in games two and three. Hoskins tallied another 3 homers in this series and is simply playing out of his mind over the past week. The Phillies battled back from a 4-run deficit in the final game of the four-game set, collecting 10 hits in 4 innings to put the Diamondbacks away.
June 30-July 2 vs. Padres: 6-0 Win (Ray, 5-7), 7-4 Win (Arano, 4-1), 6-5 Win (Morgan, 4-1)
Break out the brooms, this one’s a sweep! The hot-and-cold Robbie Ray struck out 12 in 8 shutout innings while Harper and Hoskins each homered in the opening game. Hoskins was just getting started, though, homering twice in game two and getting the walk-off shot in game three to push the winning streak to six games. Those are some real video-game numbers from Rhys, huh? Get it? Video game numbers?
While we sit with a 9-game lead in the N.L. East heading into July 4th weekend and have the second-best record in the National League (the Dodgers have 60 wins to our 56, and we’ve split the season series 3-3), there’s always room to improve. That being said, here are out top minor-league performers who might deserve a late-season shot at the show:
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs: Jo Jo Romero (SP) sits with a 3.87 ERA with 26 BBs and 85 Ks in 86 innings pitched. Ronald Torreyes (2B) leads the team in hitting, slashing .305/.363/.416 through 68 games. The outfield is stacked, with Odubel Herrera, Mikie Mahtook, and Nick Martini each hitting above .285 and slugging in the .400s. Room for trades, maybe?
Reading Fightin’ Phils: Francisco Morales (SP) has an ERA of 3.65 and a 5-2 record through 86 innings pitched. Nick Maton (SS) is slashing .280/.388/.414 in 186 plate appearances; he leads the team in most hitting metrics. Time for a shot at AAA?
The Phillies have one final road trip to Seattle, Houston, and D.C. before the All-Star break, after which we’ll bring back Twitch streams and hope for the Phillies to pull away in the division!