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Monday Musings

Coming off a rough weekend, there are some thoughts

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was a dud of a series. One in which the Phillies should have at least taken two of three, they continued to play extremely poorly on the road.

They continued to play poorly in Colorado.

And they continued to get poor pitching from the bottom of the rotation. Which leads to the first part of this.

  • That’s three starts for Matt Moore and four starts for Chase Anderson. Neither of them have done anything particularly well and both look like liabilities in the rotation at this point. It’s still early since you really can’t make a determination about how a season is going to go after three or four starts, but it is easily fair enough to say that the team will need help if they want to make the playoffs this season. There is still time for one or both of them to turn it around, but there isn’t anything in the peripheral numbers of both that would suggest that they’ll suddenly be Cy Young contenders. The team will almost certainly be on the lookout for starting rotation help come the trade deadline.
  • Speaking of the trade deadline, the Phillies went up against one of the pitchers yesterday that figures to be a big part of that trade deadline in Jon Gray. Gray has always been an intriguing arm that the Rockies dreamed on, hoping that he would figure out how to pitch at Coors Field and take that next step, but he just couldn’t seem to do it. This year looks like he has finally figured it out, just in time for his own free agency after the season. Coming into the game, he had some great surface level numbers with an ERA under three and a strikeout rate hovering around his career average of ~23%, but there are some ugly ones down there as well. His walk rate is very high, his BABIP is absurdly low and that means some regression is probably coming. He’s been having success so far by ditching his four-seam fastball in favor of more changeups and sliders, so perhaps he has found something that will work for him. We’ll need to see a few more starts into his season to see if his new recipe to pitching will be successful, but he’s a name to keep an eye on as July rolls around.
  • Boy is this team defense bad. Andrew McCutchen’s misplay in left field yesterday has been a microcosm of all that they have done poorly. If you look up, well, really any team defense statistic that means anything (UZR, UZR/150, etc.), they rank in the bottom of baseball. Playing in Colorado is always tough on a team, particularly an outfield, but that one was really inexcusable. They have to get better.
  • The centerfield situation is still going poorly, but it’s still not time to give up on Mickey Moniak. It’s still only 28 plate appearances on the season and with no one currently beating down the door at the alternate site (according to reports), there is no reason to take away at bats from Moniak until either Adam Haseley comes back ready to go or they make a move to get someone. Roman Quinn shouldn’t even be in the discussion to get starts anymore, which would leave Odubel Herrera or Scott Kingery as the only other options on the table. If you look at any online reports of what’s going on at Lehigh Valley, you’d find quickly that neither one of those two is doing much of anything to warrant consideration in Philadelphia. So that leaves Moniak until something else happens.
  • Nick Maton has gotten off to a nice start with his career, but let’s not forget that he’s not really projected to be much more than a utility guy. Whenever Jean Segura makes it back to the lineup, Maton should be relegated to a bench role, but the best thing for him would be to go back to the minor leagues and get more regular playing time at second base and shortstop. There is no point to his just sitting in Philadelphia. Ronald Torreyes isn’t much, but it’s not like he was getting regular at bats here. He’ll be just fine as the normal utility guy for now. Maton will need to play a lot to continue getting better and the only place to do that is at Lehigh Valley.