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July 09, 2024

MLB power rankings roundup: Phillies are getting tested approaching the All-Star break

Will Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper be back for this week's major test against the Dodgers?

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Bryce-Harper-Kyle-Schwarber-Phillies-Celebration-6.24.24-Tigers.jpg Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies could use these guys back.

The Phillies took two of three off the Cubs in Chicago last week, then went to Atlanta and had the Braves series looking pretty good until it quickly wasn't looking good anymore

They still broke even for the week at 3-3, are still sitting with a 7.5-game cushion atop the NL East, and still have a good amount of buzz around them with seven All-Stars headed to Arlington next week

But Shohei Ohtani and the Dodgers are coming to town for another big test before the Phils can get to the break, plus one more set against the Athletics to close out the first half of the summer. 

Here's where the Phillies stand in the latest wave of power rankings heading into this week... 1st

The bad news: the Braves series ended up brutal. 

The good news: Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper are closing in on returns, and all things considered, the Phillies did pretty well getting by without them in the meantime.

Wrote Will Leitch:

When Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber both went on the injured list on the same day, it was obvious that someone was going to have to step it up. Fittingly, it has been their other big star who has done so: In the first eight games after Harper and Schwarber went out, Trea Turner hit .371 with four homers and 11 RBIs. Still: That Braves series didn’t go the way anyone wanted it to. Those guys will be happily, giddily welcomed back. []

ESPN: 1st

ESPN publishes their power rankings late into a given week rather than at the start of it. 

So with that in mind, here's what David Schoenfield wrote among their baseball panel of a club that they still kept in first:

It was a tough week for the Phillies as Bryce Harper (hamstring) and Kyle Schwarber (groin) both landed on the injured list (joining J.T. Realmuto, who has been out since June 10). The immediate fallout was a four-game split against the lowly Marlins. Bryson Stott has moved into Schwarber's leadoff spot, Kody Clemens will fill in at first base, Johan Rojas was recalled from Triple-A and will get time in center field, while various players will rotate through the DH slot. Spencer Turnbull also landed on the IL, opening a start for Michael Mercado on Tuesday. He allowed two hits and one run in six innings to earn the win in his major league debut. Mercado was acquired in the offseason from the Rays. [ESPN]

Mercado's next turn in the rotation did not go nearly as well. Atlanta tagged him for three homers and five earned runs in total. He only lasted 1.2 innings in a 6-0 loss.

Bleacher Report: 2nd

No matter where your team is at in the standings, attention always turns to the All-Star Game at this point in the summer, and because the Phillies have been so good through the first half of the season, they've got a lot of them this time around. 

Wrote Joel Reuter:

With Bryce Harper (.981 OPS, 40 XBH, 20 HR, 58 RBI), Alec Bohm (.833 OPS, 42 XBH, 11 HR< 70 RBI) and Trea Turner (51 G, .879 OPS, 21 XBH, 11 SB) all voted to start the All-Star Game, the Phillies already had their MLB-leading seven All-Star locked in before the reserves were announced. It's not surprising to see four pitchers make the cut from a staff that leads the majors with a ERA, and props to the player vote for recognizing how good Jeff Hoffman (38 G, 8 SV, 10 HLD, 1.21 ERA) and Matt Strahm (36 G, 7 HLD, 1.59 ERA) have been in support of a terrific rotation led by Ranger Suárez (18 GS, 2.58 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 106 K, 108.0 IP) and Zack Wheeler (18 GS, 2.74 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 119 K, 111.2 IP). [B/R]

Strahm and Suárez have actually looked human of late after mowing through hitters at an absurd rate, but that was probably bound to happen, and hardly makes their All-Star nods any less earned. They definitely deserve to be there.

MORE: Major tests for Phils lie ahead with reinforcements on the way

CBS Sports: 1st

Again: the Braves series went south, but Atlanta was already working from way behind going in, so it didn't hurt the Phillies too much.

That was one of the major perks of getting off to that hot start from back in May. It gives you breathing room. 

Wrote Matt Snyder:

Bad timing for the Phillies to get the Braves in Atlanta with both Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber on the injured list. Taking one of the three games is probably, actually, a plus. The Braves needed a sweep to trim the deficit to six games. Instead, it's eight. Anyway, both players will be back soon and I'm not inclined to bump the Phillies under such circumstances. [CBS Sports]

The Athletic: 1st

The Phillies are an MLB-leading 58-32 entering Tuesday night, have a roster flooded with All-Stars, and are looking at pretty good postseason odds approaching the break. 

Not a bad spot to be in, but coming back from it, the real race will start to heat up.

Wrote Rustin Dodd:

The Phillies are sending a franchise record seven All-Stars to Texas, illustrating how good things have gone during this first half. You can peek at the increase in playoff odds, too. If you’re a Phillies fan who is reading that your team is a lock to make the postseason, your next question is probably about the chances of winning the NL East. According to FanGraphs, it’s 88.8 percent. Pretty good. Not a lock. But pretty, pretty good. Philadelphia will close out the first half with two important home series. First comes the Dodgers, who have the second-best record in the NL. Then come the A’s. Not a bad team to beat up on before getting a few days off. [The Athletic]

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