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August 14, 2023

Phillies stock watch: Trea Turner is red hot (finally), Bryce Harper is ice cold

The past week was an eventful one for the Phils.

The Phillies had a mildly successful run last week, winning four of seven games including a series win over the Nationals and a  series loss against the Twins.

Of course, this is the week that will forever be remembered for Michael Lorenzen's no-hitter, but the Phillies did solidify themselves as the top Wild Card team in the NL, which is a pretty good place to be. The team also, impressively, hit 14 homers, with every single everyday starter hitting a dinger (as well as Wes Wilson in his first MLB at-bat).

Next week, they have a light schedule (days off on Monday and Thursday) with five games against the Blue Jays and Nationals respectively. Before they head north to Canada, here's a brief look at a few players who played great — and terrible — over the last seven games in our weekly Phillies stock watch:

Stock up 📈

Michael Lorenzen (No-hitter Wednesday)

There really doesn't need to be much analysis here. The Phillies' front office went out and traded for Lorenzen at the beginning of August and all he's done is win his first two starts and no-hit the Nationals. He's a fan favorite right out of the shoot and no Phillie has higher stock right now than the 31-year-old righthander.

Trea Turner (.481, 5 RBI)

Finally, finally, finally Trea Turner is on the stock up portion of this list. The formerly struggling $300 million infielder seems to have been revitalized by the standing ovation he got last week and tallied a team-high 13 hits in 27 at-bats over seven games. His batting average went from .239 to .252 this week. Not bad. If Turner can keep things going, the Phillies should be solidly heading into the postseason.

Nick Castellanos (.367, 3 HR)

Castellanos is another Phillie who has had an uneven season and excelled this past week. The 2023 All-Star blasted three homers, including two in the same game, and had 11 hits in 30 at-bats. 

Jake Cave (.333, HR)

Cave has been getting some spot starts for the Phils as they wait for the return of injured outfielder Brandon Marsh. He had six hits in 18 at-bats including a home run, and has been a solid left-handed hitter. If he keeps taking advantage of his spots maybe he can make a case for a postseason roster spot.

Aaron Nola (1.80 ERA)

It's been a struggle to watch Nola, formerly a Phillies bonafide ace, pitch this season. But he had a solid performance Thursday, allowing just one run in five frames and that's enough to get his stock on the right track. Nola has been a victim of "blow up" innings quite often this season, so avoiding that fate in his last start is a good step forward.

Stock down 📉

Bryce Harper (.148, 11 strikeouts)

Harper didn't look good at all this past week, despite adding a home run to his stat sheet. In 21 at-bats, he struck out more than half the time, mustering just three hits. He also missed a start (and exited another one early) due to back pain, which subsided.  

Alec Bohm (.174)

Even before he was ejected for arguing with the umpire in a pretty big spot Sunday, Bohm had a rough week, hitting under .200 with only four hits over six games.

Rodolfo Castro (.067)

Castro filled in for the Phils in five games this past week in the infield and didn't do much, getting one hit in 15 at bats. He's a candidate to be sent down when Marsh or Christian Pache returns.

Taijuan Walker (5.40 ERA)

It was a forgettable start for Walker Saturday, as he walked six and allowed two homers and three runs in a stinker of a showing for the Phillies, a 8-1 laugher of a loss. Overall, the free agent signee has been a solid performer for the Phillies this season so expect he'll shake off his control issues quickly. 

Gregory Soto (27.00 ERA)

The Phillies' offense did basically nothing Saturday (after Walker gave up his three runs), but Soto certainly did little to keep them in the game. The flame-throwing lefty saw five hitters, gave up a walk, three hits and four runs, and retired only one batter in his second outing of the week. He did have a clean inning back on Tuesday (which is why his ERA for the week is only 27!)

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