Philadelphia Phillies, after bolstering an already solid offense on paper, the 2022 ,were primed to make things interesting in the National League East. Now, 11 games into the season, things are not off to the start that Philadelphia was hoping for.
The team is 4-7 and is coming off losing three out of four to the Miami Marlins and dropping the first of a three game set against the Colorado Rockies on the road on Monday night.
This team has dropped six out of their last seven games and find themselves 3.5 games back in the NL East. Granted, it’s very early in the season, but this team has been a disappointment and are spending way too much money to miss the playoffs yet again.
Anyone who’s followed this team in the young 2022 campaign knows what the big problem for Philadelphia is: defense. This is one of the most inept defenses in baseball, and the numbers back that up.
The Phillies have committed 7 errors in their first 11 games, making them tied with several other teams for the 3rd most in baseball so far. They also have the 6th worst team fielding percentage at .981%.
A big culprit has been young third baseman Alec Bohm who was known for not having the best glove even before this season. Bohm has committed three of the Phillies’ seven errors this season; all three coming at the third base position.
Philadelphia’s pitching hasn’t exactly been a bright spot either as they have the 5th highest team earned run average in baseball at 5.07. They have good talent in their rotation with guys like Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Ranger Suarez, but that skill has yet to translate on the field.
The team also has the 5th most runs allowed (51) and 8th most hits allowed (77). A cherry on top is that Philadelphia has also hit the most batters so far this season at 12.
Everyone knew that these are two areas the Phillies would struggle in, but the thing that’s surprising is just how glaring the problem is.
The motor of this team is supposed to be its offense. Philadelphia signed two great hitters in the offseason in the form of outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. It’s very early on, but Castellanos is having a great start while Schwarber is struggling.
Then there’s the $330 million man, Bryce Harper. Harper won the 2021 NL MVP but other than that, hasn’t been the difference-maker that Phillies fans expected him to be. The team has missed the playoffs each of Harper’s first three seasons, and things aren’t off to a good start in his 4th year.
Harper is batting 8 for 37 (.216) to start the season and has grounded into 3 double plays already; something he did only 12 times in 2021. Even with a slow start from Harper the Phillies still have weapons around him such as catcher J.T. Realmuto and second baseman Jean Segura, both of whom are hitting right around .290.
The offense has been good in Philadelphia’s first 11 games of the regular season, but it hasn’t been nearly enough to make up for the rest of this ball club’s struggles early on.
The Phillies play in what should be a competitive NL East with the defending champion Atlanta Braves and dangerous New York Mets in their division.
The Phillies are spending way too much money to miss the playoffs yet again, and the clock is ticking. The Phillies have the 4th highest payroll in baseball but have had just two winning seasons since 2011; the last year they made the playoffs.
The Mets and Braves are not going anywhere and if the Phillies want to make it back to the playoffs; something’s got to give. Your front office is flat out wasting money when you’re spending in the top five in baseball but can’t even beat the Marlins.
Nothing about this team’s on-field play has inspired confidence since 2012, and things have gotten only slightly better since signing Harper to that massive deal prior to the 2019 season.
The wins need to start coming much more consistently for Philadelphia if they expect to have any chance of contending. This team is running out of time and cannot continue to play the mediocre brand of baseball they have been when compared with the amount of money the front office is spending.