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Moving on: Phillies

Joe Girardi/

When a manager doesn't meet expectations in his 3rd season with the team, with the reigning MVP, 5 All-Stars from 2021, and a payroll above the Luxury tax, the early return should not be 22-29. As of this writing on 6/4, the Phillies own a 23-29 record and are 11 games out for a first place in the NL East. However, they are only 5.5 games away from a wildcard spot. Bench Coach Rob Thomson was named interim manager and won his debut with a 10-0W of the Falling Angels.

Joe Girardi was in his third season as the Phillies manager; the first was the pandemic shortened 2020, followed by Bryce Harper's MVP season and an 82-80 record and eight games out of a wildcard spot. Girardi ends his Phillies managerial tenure with a 132-141 record, to bring his 14 manager career record to 1120-935, and one world series ring, from 2009 with the Yankees.

Coming into the 2022 season, the Phillies welcomed RHRP Corey Knebel, RHRP Jeurys Familia, LHRP Brad Hand, OF/DH Kyle Schwarber, and OF Nick Castellanos; the additions pushed the Phillies over the Luxury Tax and boosted their expectations into win-now mode.

Phillies MV3, Bryce Harper, is in his fourth season with the Phillies and is now the 3rd manager of his tenure and 9th in his career. Harper made the veteran superstar move, saying, "There's blame on us," Bryce Harper said. "There's not just blame on Joe. We haven't played to the best of our ability. We haven't done the things to be the team we should be." Harper has lived up to the expectations of his $330, 13Yr deal, and now he waits to see if the Phillies can follow his lead.

Outside of Harper, the Phillies do have several bright spots across the lineup and offense as the team ranks 5th in HR(62), 4th SB(32), 6th in H(433), 2nd in Slg%(.411), 6th in OPS(.722) in the NL. At the same time, they are 13 in BB(156), 12 in SO(461), and 10 in OBP(.311). This tells me when the Phillies get on base; they can get the runners home; it's just finding more ways to get more runners on base; the Phillies offense with Harper, Castellanos, Schwarber, Realmuto, Bomb, Hoskins, will without a doubt pull out of the early struggles, and hopefully, find patience at the plate.

The Pitching side of things for the Phillies suggests much of the same as Nola, Gibson, Wheeler, and Eflin each have a FIP of 3.48 or lower. The bullpen will be an area that will have to be addressed sooner than last as only Dominguez and Hand have an ERA of 1.83 or lower and a FIP of 3.28 or lower. The Phillies have nothing but room for improvement on the bump as they rank 8th in ERA(3.97), 10th in H(426), 8th in ER(204), and 6th in BB(167), have a team FIP of 3.64. All ranks are among the NL only.

The Phillies will be missing INF Jean Segura for the next 10-12 weeks as he has a fractured finger. Meanwhile, Harper has been shut down from throwing for the time being, with no timetable to return to such activities due to a UCL injury, which has forced him into a full-time DH role. INF Didi Gregorius did start a rehab assignment with AAA Lehigh Valley on 5/31.

With 110 games left on the season, my 90-72 project, which is still likely, as they would need to go 67-43 for the remainder of the season. There is still plenty of reason to be optimistic for the Phillies with big bats and a good rotation.

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