LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 14: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies watches his three run homerun, to take a 6-1 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on May 14, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

By Dylan MacKinnon

We are a bit over a month into the Phillies Season. The results have been a bit uneven. They are 17-18, which is not great. But they are coming out of a 3-1 series vs the Dodgers and before that beat the Mariners 2-1. So heading into a series vs the Padres, this road trip seems to perhaps to be a turning point for the team, or at least we hope. But is this a team that was underperforming, and is breaking out? Or is this just a small hot streak, and the Phillies we saw throughout April are the real team? Let’s take a look at some numbers, that will hopefully shed some light on this Phillies Season so far.

8.6%

We were promised a team that would hit for power. And at least so far, that is what we are getting. The Phillies lead the league in extra-base hit percentage. They have hit an extra-base hit 8.6% of the time. They are also 5th in Home Runs, 2nd in doubles, 1st in slugging percentage, and 1st in OPS. This team can hit. This does not seem to be an aberration. The narrative was this lineup would be good before the year, and they have been. It was a bit of a slow start, with Harper getting out of the gates a little slow. But he is on a tear now, and the people around him are hitting too. The one hole in the lineup is Center Field. And hopefully, Mickey Moniak can help out there once he is healthy.

-9

We were also promised a terrible fielding team. And that is yet another prediction the Phillies have lived up to. They are 26th in the league in Defensive Runs Saved, -9. DFS is a Stat that determines how many outs a fielder will generate compared to a league average fielder. If you don’t trust stat, it should be noted they are also bottom 5 in nearly every fielding metric.

They have liabilities in the field at 1B, 3B, LF, often in CF, and with Harper DHing, in RF too. I guess it’s worth mentioning it is technically better than they were last year. But it is still bad. Too often we see issues with fielding the ball, or on the exchange getting it too first. Overthrows, poor picks, bad routes to balls. It’s an issue pretty much across the board. There are some bright spots. Jean Segura has been good. Bryson Stott when in there has looked good at SS or 2B. Johan Carmago has a good glove. But mostly, it has been bad. And that is just the way it is going to be all season.

4.38

The Bullpen has been an issue for this team for what feels like forever. They literally set the record in recent years for blown saves and Bullpen ERA. Not for the best Bullpen ERA, for the worst. Their bullpen ERA in 2020 was over 7. So how has it gone so far? Results are unclear. Their bullpen ERA is 4.38. While it is better than the past two seasons, it is still near the bottom of the league. But look deeper, and it gets a bit complicated. Some options in the Bullpen are doing very well. Take Corey Knebel, Brad Hand, Seranthony Dominguez, and Anthony Bellatti, and those are 4 solid options pitching well despite a few hiccups. Those 4 have a combined ERA of 2.85. But go deeper, and it gets ugly.

The rest of the bullpen sports an ERA of 5.19. What this tells us is if they can get to a few main guys, they are in good shape. But it is hard to rely on people like Jose Alvarado, or Jeurys Familia. The Phillies could really use another dependable arm in the Bullpen. If they need to rely on the middle of their bullpen, they will get in trouble.

2.35

A big question mark coming into the year was Aaron Nola. So far, he has been pretty good. It started ugly. In his first two games, he gave up 7 runs in 9.333 innings. But he settled in and has pitched well. In fact, most of the starters have done so. Like with Nola, Wheeler had an ugly first two starts, giving up 11 runs over 8 innings. And since then. he has given up just 3 in 19 innings. Meaning those two combined, have an ERA of 2.35 ever since the third go around the rotation.

As for the rest of the rotation, Ranger Suarez has been solid. He has yet to allow more than 3 runs in any game. That has him sporting a solid 3.72 ERA. If that is how you 1-2-3 pitchers are going. you can win some games. Kyle Gibson and Zach Eflin meanwhile have ERAs in the 4’s. Gibson’s ERA was under 3 before an ugly start in LA his last time out. So maybe he can be solid for most of the year.

1.904

Bryce Harper has a ridiculous OPS of 1.904 in his last 7 games. That has his season OPS up to .994. This last week he hit 3 HRs and 6 doubles. He is on a ridiculous tear that has his season numbers up amongst the best in the entire MLB. As great as he was last year, he has a chance to better this one. It took him a couple of weeks to find his groove, but now he is crushing the ball. The injury that is keeping him out of RF is a concern. But if he is hitting like this, you are ok with him DHing as long as he needs to.