Having solid numbers a year ago, Altherr got most of the playing time early on in right field. However, Altherr has taken steps back from his 19 home run, .856 OPS last year. He’s batting just .173 with a poor .605 OPS in 197 at-bats. To make matters worse, Altherr is punching out at an alarming rate, fanning 76 times in 197 at-bats.
While thinking 2017 could be a breakthrough season for Altherr, it’s looking more like an aberration. Remember Domonic Brown, who had one stellar season before falling off the baseball map? This could be the same for Altherr.
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There is time for Altherr to turn it around the second half. The question is whether or not he’ll get playing time, with a productive Nick Williams manning right field.
Altherr needs to step it up, particularly against left-handed pitching (.159 in 63 at-bats), since Williams should get rest against southpaws. Williams is hitting .261 against lefties, but only one home run in 46 at-bats compared to 10 in 170 at-bats versus right-handed pitching.
Even if Altherr remains a role player instead of a starter, he needs to pick up the pace to give the Phillies a legitimate right-handed threat off the bench.