The Phillies’ Bad Offense Is Back With A Vengeance
Before the All-Star Break, the Phillies went on a wholly unexpected offensive tear. The offensive heroes were guys like Peter Bourjos, Cody Asche, Cameron Rupp, and Cesar Hernandez, so it’s hard to muster any surprise that the Phillies offense has crashed back to earth. The team entered play on Wednesday afternoon with a .208/.270/.317 team slashline through the first 12 games of the second half. It won’t surprise you to learn that their team 56 wRC+ is the worst of any major league team since the All-Star Break. Just how bad is a team 56 wRC+? Ryan Howard has a 52 wRC+ this season. Yes, since the All-Star Break, the Phillies as a team have been roughly as productive at the plate as Ryan Howard has all season.
In order to get a sense of how dramatic the change in offensive performance has been, I charted the team’s OPS the season in rolling ten game chunks beginning with games #1-#10 (April 4th to April 14th) and going all the way through games #93-102 (July 17th to July 26th). The results are a graphical illustration of what you likely already know to be true:
Over the course of the season, the Phillies offensive performance has largely vacillated between a .600 and .700 OPS, but on the strength of that surprising surge in June, their season OPS is .678, an achievement in futility surpassed this year only by the Atlanta Braves’ .651 OPS.
The good news, in so much as any exists for a team that is ultimately living down to expectations, is that they are expected to begin adding reinforcements prior to the weekend series against the Atlanta Braves. First up is expected to be Aaron Altherr, whose minor league rehab assignment ends today. In the coming weeks, the Phillies could also be prepared to add top prospects J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams. At the very least, it will be hard for the new additions to make the Phillies offense much worse than it already is.