May 01, 2019
We're now a month into the 2019 MLB season, and the new-look Phillies are right where they belong — hanging in near the top the league, but not flying quite as high as they were after that 5-1 start. Since our last MLB power rankings roundup, the Phillies have returned to their winnings ways by taking four of their last six — after losing five of their previous six, which caused them to start tumbling down the rankings.
For now, the Phillies (16-13) are back in first place in the NL East, but the injury bug has begun to bite this team. Perhaps that's why, despite a winning week, Gabe Kapler's team remains solidly entrenched in the bottom half of the Top 10. And pretty much everyone agrees on that.
The other thing everyone seems to agree on is that, despite the 4-2 week, the Phillies are still on a slide, perhaps because three of those wins came over the last-place Marlins. Combine that with the recent injuries and it all seems to make sense. Ranking anywhere from sixth to 10th this week, the Phillies didn't climb in anyone's rankings this week, but they also only fell, at most, four spots.
The prevailing sentiment among those ranking the teams is that the Phillies are a good team, but they're inconsistent and haven't done anything yet to separate themselves from the pack.
Phillies ended April middle-of-the-pack in MLB in a lot of categories — 15th in homers & slugging, 16th in batting avg, 13th in ERA.— Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS) May 1, 2019
Categories where they ranked high or low:
Opponents' stolen base success rate (2nd)
Opponents' BA (27th)
In the meantime, let's take a look at where the team currently ranks during the fifth week of the MLB season...
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|6 (--)||I promise you I don’t keep the Phillies at No. 6 because of some troll move. They’ve been here for a few weeks now, but it kinda sums up the Phillies so far — good, not great, they rank in the top half of the league for offense and defense but they’re not blowing anybody out of the water. They’re … a good No. 6 at this point.|
|7 (--)||They went through a mini-funk, losing five of six, but have righted the ship now with wins in four of their last five. Through all this, somewhat interestingly, they've never been more than 1 1/2 games ahead or more than one game behind first place all season.|
|4 (-3)||The good news for the Phillies is that it looks like Aaron Nola is starting to figure it out: He's allowed four runs in his past two starts (12 1/3 innings pitched), vs. the Rockies and Marlins. The Phillies are 13-8 vs. division opponents so far this year, so the NL East leaders get the benefit of the doubt and the nod ahead of some other NL East teams that slid in the rankings.|
|7 (--)||The Phillies did what they were supposed to do this past weekend against the Marlins, taking three of four while jumping into first place in the NL East.|
|5 (-3)||Aaron Nola (5.68 ERA in six starts) has been their least effective starter.|
|5 (-4)||Getting shortstop Jean Segura and center fielder Odubel Herrera back from the injured list should aid an inconsistent offense that has not performed as expected so far. At least ace Aaron Nola is improving, after a four-start stretch sans a quality start. That 5.68 ERA should keep dropping this week. |
|N/A||They made big free-agent splashes before the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and now — despite those splashes sort of banging into each other to make a tiny wave — the Phillies have as good a shot at the NL East as anyone (and now it appears they have a renewed rivalry as well). The trick is going to be keeping those splashes all moving in the same direction.|
[NOTE: Some of these rankings may have come out a day or two ago, and may not be taking the most recent game into account.]