Despite the fact that the Phils actually won their final 2 meaningless games of the season, we’re gonna just go ahead and skip the recap.
The Phils finished with 80 wins…a 14 game improvement over last year
Aaron Nola pitched himself into Cy Young contention and legitimized himself as a true ace.
Rhys Hoskins had 34 HR and 96 RBI
The bullpen (ok, the first half of the season version). A lot of young arms earned their stripes. Overuse eventually led to their downfall though.
The Phils finished with 80 wins and 10 games out of first place. This after being 15 games over .500 with less than 2 months to go.
Their leading hitter, Odubel Herrera finished the season at just .255 (4 other hitters actually had a higher average but not enough AB’s thanks to Kapler’s lineup rotation: Maikel Franco, .270- Roman Quinn, .267 and Jorge Alfaro, .262- Nick Williams, .256).
Scott Kingery- Kingery didn’t give himself a 6 year contract prior to ever taking a major league at bat** nor did he play himself out of position all season*** but he was not what most expected. His .226 average did not warrant the amount of playing time he got and no one ever thought to send him down for a little while to get himself right.
Jake Arrieta finished 10-11 with a 3.94 ERA. I was hopeful when they signed him. I’m not now.
*** Gabe Kapler- He’s not a good manager (polite version). He overused the bullpen. He shifted WAY too much when it wasn’t needed. He refused to move runners over to manufacture runs.
**Matt Klentak- His moves to sign Arrieta for $75 million was a bust. His signing of Kingery was unnecessary. His signing of Carlos Santana bungled the entire lineup starting with Hoskins and cost them defensively and offensively. Wilson Ramos was the only half decent move he made at the trade deadline and he was hurt most of the time he was here.
Team Offense- .234 average- tied for worst in the majors
Team Defense- 2nd worst in the majors based.
It’s amazing to look at all of this and realize they still managed to finish just 2 games under .500. This was not a good baseball team for the majority of the season. They scratched and clawed for most wins. They had offensive explosions for others (though few and far between and often begetting a clunker in the next game). Overall, there was no consistency in any aspect. The team that was on the field in 2018 will not be any better in 2019. They need new pieces (they don’t even HAVE to be the big names…though I wouldn’t complain) and they need some of the current pieces in the right defensive positions/spots in the order.
I’ve been half tongue in cheek critical of Kapler all season but in my honest (and totally worthless opinion) I just don’t think he’s a good major league manager. He needs to do a total 180 degree turn (ok, I’ll settle for at least 90) on his approach to all aspects (hitting, pitching, fielding) or he needs to go before he sets any of these young players back any further in their development.
No one had high expectations for this team and the end result from a record standpoint was an improvement over last year. In the grand scheme of things, they aren’t any further along than they were at the end of 2017. Klentak and Kapler are tied at the hip. If one goes, the other likely does too. They’ll each get another year to prove they learned a lesson before Phils fans turn on them big time.
Well…that’s all for me. Here’s hoping that the front office has already begun their due diligence calls and this is the beginning of a fruitful off-season. It’s been an interesting year. Here’s hoping for more positive results in 2019.