The 2018 Phillies were able to make a significant push for the playoffs due to being relatively healthy before their epic end of season collapse. This year’s Phillies do not have that same luxury and need their offense to step up in a big way.
On March 26th, 2019, Anthony Castrovince wrote an article touting the Phillies to have the 4th-best offensive lineup in all of baseball. With less than a month from the All-Star Game, the Phillies are wildly underperforming relative to expectations.
For the Phillies to have a real chance to make the playoffs, they will need to have their offensive start doing the heavy lifting. Currently, the Phillies are a below-average offense. Period. The Phillies rank 19th in wOBA (.315) – behind the Braves (3rd – .339), Nationals (15th – .322), and Mets (16th – .318). wOBA is a great tool to measure an offense. It assigns the proper value to each event, in terms of its impact on scoring runs, unlike OPS which just adds on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The second stat to show the Phillies are currently a below-average offense is weighted runs created plus (wRC+). Currently, the Phillies rank 19th in wRC+ with a score of 93.
According to MLB.com, wRC+ quantifies the most important part of an offense’s job – creating runs – and normalizes it, so we can compare players who play in different ballparks, and even different eras – league average wRC+ is 100. The Phillies rank 20th in BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play), which measures how often a ball in play goes for a hit. Finally, they are on pace to hit 196 home runs, while their pitching staff is on pace to give up 265 home runs.
With all the injuries playing a key factor this season, the Phillies “Big Three Bats” Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, and J.T. Realmuto need to start being a significant offensive threat. If the past seven games are any indication, Rhys appears to be coming out of a slump. He is hitting .348 with two home runs, and seven RBIs in that span. Once Harper starts catching up to fastballs, he will easily break out of his slump. Over the past 30 games, he has struck out 35 times. At this point in the season, Realmuto needs to start producing offensively.
Player A: .264 AVG / .317 OBP / .747 OPS / 9 HR / 27 RBI
Player B: .277 AVG / .331 OBP / .785 OPS / 10 HR / 36 RBI
Player A is Jorge Alfaro and Player B is J.T. Realmuto. Both players have an identical oWAR of 1.2. If Realmuto can’t offensively out-produce Alfaro, the trade to give up Sixto Sanchez may not have been worth it due to the lack of pitching prospects.
Because the Phillies’ defense, starting rotation and bullpen are all struggling, it necessitates an increase in productivity to their offense to increase. The Phillies have lost 11 of their last 17 games because their offense is failing to score runs.
Injuries may end up leaving an asterisk next to the 2019 season, but comparing wOBA and wRC+ from the last two seasons might be a telling sign the Phillies could miss the playoffs for the 8th consecutive year.
Featured Image: Newswirenow.com Editor's Note: Stats updated through Tuesday, June 19th, so these totals are from BEFORE the two total runs scored in that two-game span.