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June 19, 2023

Stock up, stock down: The reasons for the Phillies' red-hot play

The Phillies won six of seven last week and are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now.

The Phillies have won six games in a row, 13 of their last 15, are back in the playoff picture, and firmly above the .500 mark.

They are also showing that they can beat good teams again, as series wins against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers have been impressive statements mixed in with sweeps of the lowly Athletics and Tigers. 

A diabolically important stretch at home is incoming this week, with the Braves and then the Mets coming to town for some NL East competition they haven't faced much of yet. And they couldn't be playing better baseball going in. 

Over the last week of games, the Phillies generated the third most hits of any team, the fifth most runs, and the ninth-best batting average. More impressively, their 2.17 pitching staff ERA was the best of all 30 teams and their 66 strikeouts were the second most.

As we do every week, here's a look at which players have been red-hot contributors, and whose stock you should be buying right now up and down the Phillies' roster:

Stock up 📈

J.T. Realmuto (.409/.519/1.091 this week)

The hot list should obviously start with Realmuto, who continues to boost his best catcher in baseball case. Last week he went 9-for-22, hit three home runs, scored eight runs, and had the third-highest OPS in baseball over that short span. In the week before, the backstop was one of the few Phillies on our "stock down" list. Obviously, he reads PhillyVoice and was not happy with us.

Kyle Schwarber (.310/.412/.655)

It's June, so you should probably just assume Schwarber will be in this section for another couple of weeks. With three home runs as well, Schwarber also had nine hits last week and joined Realmuto in a tie for the Phillies' lead in walks with five over that span.

Zack Wheeler (2-0, 0.75 ERA)

Wheeler was dominant in both of his starts last week, allowing one run in 12 total innings. He struck out 11 and is doing the ace thing with reliability, which is exactly what the Phils need right now.

Taijuan Walker (1-0, 1.13 ERA)

Talk about dominant — where was this Walker earlier in the season? The Phillies' big-ticket, free-agent pitching acquisition went eight strong against the A's on Friday, allowing one run and stranding a bunch of base runners. If Walker keeps it up and the Phillies can solve their fifth starter problem, watch out National League.

Ranger Suárez (Seven scoreless innings)

Suárez, too, has been consistently keeping the Phillies in games — never more than on Wednesday in Arizona when he allowed just four hits over seven innings and no runs.

Alec Bohm (.321, 8 RBI)

No Phillie had more runs batted in last week than Bohm, who hasn't missed a beat since returning from a brief stint on the injured list. He has nine hits in his last six games.

Bryson Stott (.333/.320/.667)

Yes, his batting average was higher than his on-base percentage last week. Very rare and cool. Also, he's been red hot, with two homers last week and only a single strikeout in 24 official at-bats.

Nick Castellanos (.348/.360/.435)

It's almost like Castellanos is an afterthought because he has been so damn good all year. His stretch of dynamically good play continued last week as he emerges as a real MVP candidate.

Stock down

Trea Turner (.241)

For Turner, hitting .241 over any week is a down week. He's struggled this year more than he ever has before at the plate and after an upswing last week, it feels like he's reverted to the mean, which is being a .250-ish hitter this season. We should mention he was one of just two Phillies to play in all seven games last week (Schwarber was the other).

Brandon Marsh (.150)

Marsh continues to struggle after his wildly hot start to the year back in the early spring. He struck out 10 times in 20 at-bats last week with just three hits and one walk to show for it. He has struck out 21 times in his last 10 games (37 total at-bats) and might be on a short leash soon with the trade deadline looming. He needs to start making contact again.

Matt Strahm (8.44 ERA)

Strahm has been in a weird spot for the Phillies this year, transitioning from starter to reliever to long man to opener, and has been less effective of late potentially because of this ever-changing role. He made three appearances last week and allowed five runs (and two homers) during that span. 

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