June 05, 2019
The last week has been a rough one for the Phillies.
Recently, it feels like we've been writing something to this effect every week. But, somewhat surprisingly, it didn't hurt the Phillies when it comes to MLB power rankings. At least, it hasn't yet.
The full impact of losing Andrew McCutchen, who led the NL in walks and on-base percentage before tearing his ACL on Monday night, for the season likely won't be realized until former first-rounder Adam Haseley settles into his new role in centerfield, but Game 1 of the post-Cutch era for the Phillies went as well as it could have. Newly-acquired left fielder Jay Bruce hit a pair of homers, including a grand slam, and a double in the 8-6 win over the Padres on Tuesday.
That win snapped a five-game skid for the Phillies, who were in desperate need of a victory on the West Coast after losing their first four games of their road trip, including being swept out of Chavez Ravine by the Dodgers. It also allowed the Phillies (34-27) to hold off the Braves for first place in the NL East, although they've seen their lead shrink to just a half game.
Still, despite their 2-5 record over the last week, the Phillies haven't fallen as far as you'd think in the power rankings — even after all the injuries, not just to McCutchen, but to their bullpen as well — and actually moved up a spot in one writer's list.
If the Phillies can't build off Tuesday night's win, however, next week could be the week we really see the Phillies start to plummet, especially since some of these rankings came out before the full extent of Cutch's injury was known.
Let's take a look...
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|7 (+1)||After rough start, Aaron Nola has a 2.50 ERA in last seven starts.|
|7 (--)||In sticking with the theme from the intro ... I know there have been some disappointments, but to be where they are through June 2 is a big success for the Phillies so far. They can't collapse again like last year, but the personnel is better this time.|
|6 (-1)||Philadelphia suffered its fifth consecutive loss Monday night at San Diego's Petco Park, in a battle between the two highest-compensated players of the 2018-2019 offseason: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado... Philly's injury-riddled bullpen could use some upgrading ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, but there are bloated ERAs in the rotation as well.|
|6 (-2)||As noted above, the Phillies were swept by the Dodgers, which, hey, it happens. Their offense is ranked 13th in baseball, which should be better considering their lineup. They’re adding Jay Bruce in a trade, though, so maybe that helps.|
|8 (--)||Third baseman Maikel Franco is no lock to keep a starting job after hitting .170 with one home run in May. Franco hit seven blasts in March/April, with more walks than strikeouts, but Scott Kingery is a capable third baseman and hitting better. Meanwhile, second baseman Cesar Hernandez, once thought to be in danger of losing playing time to Kingery, hit .337 with a .953 OPS in May, leading the club.|
[NOTE: Some of these rankings may have come out a day or two ago, and may not be taking the most recent game(s) into account.]