The Phillies managed to crawl out of April with a .500 record, going 11-11, and currently sit in third place in the NL East. Truthfully, this is not where the City of Brotherly Love wants to see the boys in the red pinstripes at this point in the season, but there should not be cause for concern just yet.
Also, the Phils got no-hit by the Mets at Citi Field on Friday. Every Phans’ mouth felt sour after going on a four-game winning streak scoring 30+ runs during the Rockies series. However, the Phillies came back to win the second game of the series 4-1 behind home runs from Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins. The series is tied, and hopefully, the Phils can snag the finale in Queens.
Looking at the month ahead, how are the Phillies trending?
Who is Performing?
For the most part, the entire team is performing remarkably well given the obstacles. Bryce Harper is a bit injured in ways, but he can still hit and is heating up. J.T. Realmuto is killing it behind the plate and at the plate. Nick Castellanos seems to get a hit almost every night and has been worth every penny.
Unfortunately, the Schwarber signing has yet to see the average climb, but leading the team in home runs is not a bad statistic. Didi Gregorius returned from injury and is still hitting well. Jean Segura is great in the lead-off spot and making clutch plays on the field.
It has to be said. The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen is performing, and they are performing well. They have not blown a lead when leading after the eighth inning a single time this year, which is impressive given what the phans have dealt with over the past few years.
The Starting Pitchers are also finding their ground—great performances by Wheeler and Nola. The rest of the rotation seems to be holding their own as well. Hopefully, they can keep it up because this rotation is unstable in the depth and performance department. If anything were to happen, it is uncertain who would be able to fill that “next man up” role.
Who is not?
Lots of things to be thankful for in April, but there is a centerfield issue.
There are a few factors to take into account. Odubel Herrera returning from injury and making the MLB roster was inevitable. He was always going to be a factor and platooned with Matt Vierling. Alas, Vierling has not performed up to his capabilities. The other enigma that has shown up on the Phillies’ MLB roster is the presence of Roman Quinn.
Quinn has been a staple of terrible Phillies teams over the last half-decade and was released in the previous year only to find his way back. Quinn’s terrible fielding, atrocious batting average, and sloppy baserunning have plagued his entire career and the Phillies.
It needs to stop. The Phillies need depth. They would need the depth, but at what cost for simple mistakes he will make. Herrera is not perfect either. He made an awful baserunning error in a crucial part of the game and got out running between third and home.
The Deadline and What’s Next?
The May 1st deadline has come, and the Phillies need to send two players to minors. Those two players should be Roman Quinn and Damon Jones. Both of them are not necessary to the success of this roster. Girardi may send Vierling down over Quinn, but only time will tell. The Phillies are allowed to carry 14 pitchers till the end of May. So, this means another pitcher will need to leave at the end of the month.
Phillies Phans should expect Mickey Moniak to return this month. It will be exciting to see the first overall pick in uniform playing meaningful baseball and applying his hard work with hitting coach Kevin Long. Phans should expect a Vierling/Quinn demotion depending on the return timetable. But, seeing Moniak live up to his hype and draft selection would show the Phils’ player development is going in the right direction.
The Phightins’ will need to fight for the NL East and the playoffs, given how demanding their schedule is. This month, Philly will be facing off against the Rangers, Mets, Dodgers, Atlanta, Padres, and Giants. It will make for entertaining baseball, but will the Phils become NL East leaders by the end of the month?
Photo: Adam Hunger/AP Photo