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June 05, 2023

Jonathan Papelbon believes the Phillies are a top-5 team

The Phillies snapped out a bad start last year and the former closer believes they can very much do it again.

It's been a brutal stretch for the Phillies, but Jonathan Papelbon apparently has a lot of faith that they'll snap out of it. 

They're five games below .500 at 27-32, fourth in the NL East, and outside of an 11-3 outburst on Sunday for a much-needed series win over the Nationals, have been pretty starved for consistent offense from what should be a loaded lineup.

Things aren't great right now, but while appearing on Audacy's Baseball Isn't Boring Podcast to offer his major league power rankings, Papelbon threw all of that aside. He ranked the Phillies No. 5.

No, for real. 

"The Phillies went there last year, fell short, they got a lot of hungry guys," the former closer said. "I know they're not playing to their caliber right now, but in my mind, they're a top-10 team."

Yup, for real. 

"This is why you have maybe the best power rankings in the history of power rankings," said the show's host Rob Bradford through a lot of laughter. "You just picked the Philadelphia Phillies – and I'm not saying you're wrong, because we shouldn't go by record or how they're doing yesterday or two days ago. You should go by, as you said, in your gut, in your head, this team is gonna be good. But they're four games under .500? Doesn't matter! Doesn't matter."

Maybe it doesn't. Maybe it does. But this will definitely be a take that either looks really good or really bad in a few months with absolutely no in-between.

Either way, Papelbon seems willing to bet that Trea Turner won't be struggling this bad forever, nor will Kyle Schwarber or the rest of a star-studded lineup that's mostly fluctuated between middling and bad through the first two months of the season. 

They climbed out of it last year, and the former Phillies closer believes they can do it again, even if it means a pretty bizarre-looking list of power rankings from him right now. 

"You gotta think outside the box and the brain, man," Papelbon said. "I'm telling you, listen, it's a long season, man, and granted power rankings and all are coming out all the time, blah blah blah, but man, you gotta take so much more into consideration than just following the numbers."

>>SOURCE: Baseball Isn't Boring

MORE: Former Phils check-in

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