These are just a few random thoughts about the Phillies so far this year, mostly without statistical reasoning:
- Before this series against the Cardinals, I had thought about the leadoff position. Before the start of Friday night’s game, Andrew McCutchen had led off every game he had played in in the young 2021 season. In that leadoff position, McCutchen had put up a .139/.279/.278 line, good for a .557 OPS for those of you scoring at home. That ain’t gonna cut it. Of course, we could have looked at his .167 BABIP in those games and concluded he had just gotten unlucky thus far, but then you take a look at a lot of his StatCast information and there is a lot of blue going around.
A lot of the “expected” numbers will bounce back when the luck turns around, but there are still some concerning signs there. The issue for the Phillies is that there really isn’t anyone else that can lead off for the team. McCutchen does present the best option to give them a patient hitter that still presents as a power threat, something no one else in the lineup really possesses that you’d want to hit there. Rhys Hoskins hasn’t been as patient this year as in years past, Bryce Harper ain’t leading off and those might be the two best options. Maybe Jean Segura if they really wanted to shake something up, but he isn’t what you’d call a prototypical leadoff guy. For now, McCutchen might be the best, and only, option.
- Matt Moore cannot make his next start. There is no point really debating much anymore since he’s been given three starts and none of them have been good. There have been flashes of good, but for the most part, he has been subpar in all three. But does that mean it’s time to bail on him as a rotation option? The team can effectively skip his next start since the off day Thursday would afford them to bring back Aaron Nola on Friday, Moore’s next scheduled start, on regular rest, but the team will need a fifth starter after that. Friday begins a stretch of 17 games in a row for the team, so they’ll need someone to take that spot. The guess is that Moore will have to really improve on whatever you want to call Saturday’s performance if he wants to stay in the rotation much longer.
- If you weren’t concerned before the season started about the team defense, well it’s maybe time you should. Particularly Alec Bohm. It seems as though Bohm has short hopped every one of the throws he makes to first base when he has time to set himself and deliver. When he’s charging the ball or moving around, he seems just fine. It’s those ones where he needs to simply step and throw that he’s throwing short. This is all subjective of course, but if he’s got some sort of mental block about throwing the ball, there could be some issues.
- Aaron Nola is an ace, full stop.
- We’re done with the Roman Quinn experience, right? I mean, what else is there to prove? Mickey Moniak has been no great shakes in the few games he’s had so far, but wouldn’t it be more prudent of the team to simply give the young prospect the lion’s share of at bats, facing left- or right-handed pitchers, at this point? Quinn is hitting .043/.241/.043. That, along with all the other myraid of statistics, comes out to a -14 OPS+. A NEGATIVE FOURTEEN! There is no amount of speed in the world that is worth rostering a player that can hit like that. Then there’s the fact that it seems he doesn’t know where the strike zone is actually located at. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen a player use his body language to complain so much about balls that are clearly in the strike zone being called strikes. Every time he is put into the lineup, it feels like the waving of a white flag. It’s a small sample size for sure, but over 164 games in his career, Quinn is holding a .225/.302/.347 career line (74 OPS+). That is a 26th man on a roster, one that can be cut if someone better can be found. Is that player Odubel Herrera? Perhaps, but there is no point in giving Quinn regular at bats anymore.