Skip to main content

World Series qualifiers show Phils' long road ahead

As the Dodgers and Astros worked their way to the Fall Classic, it became very clear that they were two of the best teams of the last twenty years. These aren’t the 2011 Cardinals or the 2014 Giants – Wild Card teams that got hot at the right time and rode that momentum to a title. These are complete teams set up for long-term success, and much of the league, Phillies included, have a long way to go to catch them.
To put it in perspective, the Astros, who pair a dominant starting rotation led by Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel with a historically good offense that led the league in runs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, are 5/4 underdogs against LA, according to mytopsportsbooks.com. (Click here for odds and essays on the 2017 World Series.) That’s just how good the 104-win Dodgers are.

Heading into 2018, the hope from the Phillies front-office likely isn’t a World Series appearance, or even a playoff berth next year. The team is coming off a 66-win season and last-place finish in the National League East division. They have the financial assets to go after big-name free agents, but this year’s FA group isn’t strong enough to turn a 66-win roster into a pennant-winner. 
Jorge Alfaro, image- Jay Floyd
The focus in 2018 should and will be on developing the promising prospects and up-and-comers in the system; left fielder Rhys Hoskins (18 homers, 1.014 OPS in 50 games) and catcher Jorge Alfaro (.318 BA, .874 OPS in 29 games).  Both looked great in big-league action this year, while 27-year-old second baseman Cesar Hernandez had his best season to date (.294 BA, .794 OPS, 3.4 WAR). 
If guys like Odubel Herrera, Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph can rebound from developmentally stagnant years and take steps in the right direction, the Phils’ offense could take a giant leap forward, which it desperately needs to do. Scoring 690 runs (fourth-worst in the NL) is not going to cut it, even if Aaron Nola and Nick Pivetta turn into a strong one-two punch at the front end of the pitching rotation.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball f

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'