June 02, 2018
Since we last checked in on the Phillies, specifically where they stand in the eyes of those tasked with writing weekly power rankings, Gabe Kapler's team has gone just 3-5 (1-2 vs. TOR, 2-2 at LAD, 0-1 vs. SFG). But in terms of their power ranking status, one subpar week hasn't really hurt the Phils as much as you might suspect.
Meanwhile, we've hit a milestone in the baseball season as the calendar flips to June, and with two months in the books, it worth taking a bigger-picture look at MLB and the Phillies' place among the contenders — that's right, were talking about the Phillies' chances of contending ... in June.
Luckily, that's just what we got this week from Michael Baumann of The Ringer's non-Bryan Colangelo department. Sometimes, it's easy to get lost in weekly power rankings, only adjusting based on the previous week's results and failing to see the forest through the trees. This, however, does a much better job of keeping the big picture in focus.
And while the Phillies are slightly lower here than they are on several of the weekly rankings that follow, they're still much better off than most would've predicted coming into the season.
11. Philadelphia Phillies
Whatever else happens, the growing pains of Gabe Kapler’s first week as manager appear to be in the past. Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta are pitching as well as any one-two punch in the game, while Nick Pivetta, acquired in 2015 for a season and change of strangulation-era Jonathan Papelbon, is having a breakout season with a 119 ERA+ and a 10.4 K/9 ratio. The young lineup is still going through growing pains—literal pains in the case of Rhys Hoskins, who broke his jaw on a foul ball this week—so this might end up being a promising mid-80s-win season, but the Phillies are in a better position at this point in the season than they’ve been in years. [theringer.com]
And now, here's a look at where the Phillies checked in among our usual batch of MLB Power Rankings suspects:
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|6 (-1)||Uh oh, Rhys Hoskins is down to .234/.367/.415.|
|6 (-1)||The Phillies climbed into first place in the National League East on Saturday for the first time since 2011, but the party didn’t last long. They lost Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays and fell 5-4 to the Dodgers on Monday. This team is 4-6 over its last 10 games and has been leapfrogged by the Nationals in the division standings. But there’s reason to believe this won’t turn into a big-time free fall, and it largely has to do with the pitching. Phillies starters have registered a combined 3.33 ERA this season, fifth-best among all major league teams. Philly relievers have a combined 3.55 ERA, which ranks ninth-best.|
|7 (-1)||The Phillies have a 3.38 team ERA, fifth best in the majors behind the Astros. Their starters clock in with a 3.33 ERA (fifth in MLB), and their relievers rank seventh with a 3.49 ERA. After Saturday's games, the Phillies were alone in first place in the NL East for the first time since Sept. 28, 2011 — the last day of the season that year. --Sarah Langs|
|7 (-1)||Slated to get Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner debuts back-to-back.|
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