July 31, 2023
The Phillies went 3-3 last week, winning a series against the contending Orioles and then losing one against the non-contending Pirates.
It was about as frustrating as a week can get for Phillies fans — ranging from defensive blunders to lackluster offense to unreliable pitching. But still, this team is so loaded with talent that even a down week has them a mere half game out of an NL Wild Card spot with perhaps the biggest series of the season so far on the horizon.
Before the Phils lace up their cleats in Miami to face the Marlins, whom they trail by that half a game, let's check in with a handful of players whose stock has changed after the past week of play:
Alec Bohm (.400, 4 RBI, walk-off hit)
Bohm was the star of the week, leading the team in hits (with eight), batting average (.400), and RBI (four, tied with Kyle Schwarber). He only struck out twice in 20 at-bats, which is a nice change of pace for a team that struck out 56 times in their last six games. He also continues to be the best hitter in the clutch for the Phils this season and fittingly knocked in the walk-off run in Tuesday night's win. We'll also add a shout out to Bryson Stott, who scored that run and hit .333 this week.
Bryce Harper (.304, HR, 3 RBI)
Harper has made some mistakes at first base, but he's shown he is a real baseball player who will do anything to be on the field with his teammates and has slowly gotten comfortable at the new position. His bat is looking comfortable too as he collected seven hits, including a homer, in 23 at-bats.
Brandon Marsh, Johan Rojas (Combined for nine hits, 5 RBI)
This duo shined bright taking turns in the outfield last week. Marsh was on base eight times in 15 plate appearances (.533 on base) and continues to be one of Dave Dombrowski's biggest success stories. Rojas, who was called up two weeks ago to fill in for injured Christian Pache, looks like he might be in the majors to stay. In 12 at-bats last week he had five hits and two stolen bases. He's also one of the best defensive fielders on the squad.
Cristopher Sánchez (2 stars, 1.50 ERA in 12.0 IP)
The Phillies could seriously be considering not trading for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline. Sanchez has filled in as the fifth starter extremely well the last few weeks, and he's the hurler who had two starts over the last six games and made the most of both. Against Baltimore, he went seven strong striking out eight and allowing a pair of runs, and against Pittsburgh, he tossed five scoreless frames. The Phils lost both games.
Nick Castellanos (.125, 10 K)
After emerging as the Phillies' best hitter and All-Star in the first half of the season, Castellanos has lost his vision of the baseball. He had 10 strikeouts against Pittsburgh and Baltimore and had just three hits the entire series.
Trea Turner (.100, 0 RBI)
The only person having a worse week than Castellanos is Turner, who had just two hits all series, was demoted from hitting second to seventh after being given a day off to clear his head, and made a defensive blunder that likely cost the Phillies one of the Pittsburgh games.
Aaron Nola (0-1, 9.64 ERA)
Nola continues to struggle, allowing blow-up innings and solo homers. He did both in his lone start last week, struggling to make it into the fifth inning, where he allowed a walk, single, triple and single and was out of the game after allowing seven runs (five earned).
J.T. Realmuto (.200)
Realmuto is another Phils' star who has not had much success with the bat. He's played very well defensively as he always does, but Philadelphia's catchers have combined to hit .235 this season, 17th best in the majors. What was supposed to be an offensive strength has not been so far.
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