2018 Philadelphia Phillies Depth Chart
The 2018 season has been one of ups and downs for the Phillies. They started the season making progressions to the starting pitching rotation and boosting the infield talent. Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana represented the major adds this Spring. Arrieta has had a slow come-along, but he is finally seating into the ace role prescribed of him with the signing this off-season. Santana has had health concerns, albeit it minor, but they have cut into his plate production and overall effectiveness at run creation. Their .500 track record sets the stage for areas of strengths and weaknesses.
|Catcher||Wilson Ramos||Devin Mesoraco||Andrew Knapp|
|1st Base||Carlos Santana||Justin Bour|
|2nd Base||Cesar Hernandez|
|Shortstop||Asdrubal Cabrera||Scott Kingery||Pedro Florimon|
|3rd Base||Maikel Franco||J.P. Crawford|
|Left Field||Rhys Hoskins||Dylan Cozens|
|Center Field||Odubel Herrera||Roman Quinn|
|Right Field||Nick Williams||Aaron Altherr||Jose Bautista|
Facing a season without Arrieta in 2017, the Phillies leaned heavily on Vincent Velasquez. He has had a major drop-off year in 2018. The formation into the ace role didn’t take hold and he is back to the drawing board. He is still used heavily, which begs some question to burnout or match-up discovery by the opposition. Aaron Nola took over the role that Velasquez played last year, currently leading the team in wins at 16. Boasting 210 strikeouts and a 2.44 ERA to boot, this looks like Nola’s year to claim the Cy Young award. Zach Eflin and Jake Arrieta have adopted successful positions at the bottom of the starting rotation. Both are 10-game winners and have more wins than losses, which can be built upon. This rotation is still young and raw, building off mistakes and learning to command their pitches from batter to batter. Pat Neshek continues to be a fan favorite out of the bullpen. His submarine delivery continues to baffle the opposition as he has claimed yet another All-Star appearance in 2018.
If you shield the batting average numbers, the offensive production coming from the infield looks promising. Maikel Franco leads the infield in batting average at the .268 posting. Not a single starter or bench player has eclipsed the .250 of the remaining talents. This is a major area for concern when you consider names like Carlos Santana Asdrubel Cabrera landing in this zone. Santana’s batting consistencies are what landed him a contract extension and a higher pay rate. His abysmal average has left the team struggling for a clean-up talent. Scott Kingery came through the Phillies system and finally got his shot at the big league this season. He got off to a hot start but has almost disappeared off the stat sheet in the second half of the season. Straightening out the talent with the small tangibles needed for improvement might be a program that is reserved for off-season considerations.
The towering talent that is Rhys Hoskins finally gets a full season of work. His game has become predictable, lending to a poor batting average and reduced numbers on the stat sheets. He still leads the team in homeruns and RBIs, but he is buried on the batting average list. Roman Quinn and Nick Williams are two other prospects the Phillies had building through their system. Both are refined defensive talents and create limited input on the offensive. Odubel Herrera has thrived within this offensive grouping. He is more of a contact hitter, always placing the ball on the barrel. This has afforded him the luxury of being slotted in favorable positions for run production and RBI chances.
The starting lineup remains relatively consistent from day to day. This roster bolsters a few speedsters in Quinn and Williams, which allows for them to work at the top or bottom of the order. Base runner shortage is not something the team struggles with given their make-up. Plate consistency continues to be something that is harped on to get Hoskins and Santana into natural roles for production. It is hard to slot a guy in a favorable position if they are batting under .250 and the Phillies have plenty of players that fit that description. Most of their starters are distance guys, limiting the bullpen positioning and fueling the offense for run production. Defensive pairings are often utilized to adapt to the range that the outfield has, which limits the error the team has had at the outer and interior areas.