For a team dubbed with the catchphrase “Smash the Bell” last season, the Phillies have not lived up to that praise this season.
And, before you ask, no, this post is not about Kyle Schwarber. His 20 home runs rank him 6th throughout the MLB. You can be upset with his batting average or his fielding abilities, but you cannot complain about that man’s strength at the dish.
What you can find a little troubling is the Phillies’ inability to find the bleachers this season.
As of June 25, the Phillies come in at the twenty-one spot in team home runs throughout the league with 80. For comparison, the Braves stand at the top of the list with 139 homers, while the Guardians have hit only a measly 50 long balls. The league average for homers is around the 90 mark, and the Phils come in just below that.
Another thing that has stood out to me is that, after Schwarber, the next leader in home runs for the Phillies this season is Nick Castellanos, with 9. That means the Phillies are one of just a handful of teams around the league with only one player with double-digit homers as of writing, joining the Athletics, Nationals, Pirates, Rockies, and Guardians.
The difference between the Phillies and those teams is while the Phillies are 40-37, some of those teams stand many games under .500.
Schwarber has racked up 25 percent of the Phillies’ home runs this season. That’s a hefty piece of the pie held by just one player for this Phillies team marketed for their power.
The thing is: it might not even be the team’s fault. Star player and usual baseball masher Bryce Harper would probably have around 15 homers this season if he wasn’t returning from Tommy John surgery. And add another 12 or so blasts from Rhys Hoskins if he wasn’t out for the season, and the Phillies’ home run numbers would look much better.
But even with Harper slowly making his recovery back to the field, the Phillies have still seen a notable lull in round trips. Recently, the Phillies faced a homer drought that lasted 40 or so innings until Castellanos homered on Saturday against the Mets.
Harper himself hasn’t homered in exactly a month, and former Silver Slugger Trea Turner hasn’t quite gotten his swing back from the World Baseball Classic yet.
On a positive note, Harper will be getting healthier as the days go by, which means more patented Harper right-field tanks. In addition, Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott are on their way to career highs in home runs.
The homers should come at a greater clip for the Phillies as the season goes on.
But it’s a tad bit concerning when they have only swatted 6 more home runs than the worst team in baseball at this point in the season.
Photo: Rich Schultz/AP Photo