Philadelphia Phillies Expert Roundtable: Time to panic?

Philadelphia Phillies v Texas Rangers
Philadelphia Phillies v Texas Rangers / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies concluded the first full week of the MLB season with a 3-6 overall record, which has them in fourth place in the National League East division, only ahead of the hapless Washington Nationals.

Each week our staff will share their weekly insights into the state of the team, offering perspective on recent results and taking a look at what to expect in the days ahead.

Below, Nick Galaida, Justin DiVirgilio, and Tim Boyle offer their takeaways from the first nine games.

Nick Galaida - Phillies showing few signs of improvement at the plate

The Phillies have played only nine games, but they are doing everything they can to force negative over-reactions from the media and fans. Last week, I mentioned that their approach at the plate was a red flag. Following another week of action, I'm doubling down on that take.

Entering play on Monday, Philadelphia ranks 29th in strikeout percentage, 26th in swing percentage on pitches outside of the strike zone, and 25th in contact percentage on pitches inside the zone. In total, they are swinging and missing more often than every team except for the Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox.

Philadelphia ranks 26th in runs scored so far in 2023. A series against the Miami Marlins to begin the week is unlikely to help them improve in that metric. When is Bryce Harper coming back again?

Justin DiVirgilio - Pitching staff needs to improve

Following an 0-4 start to the campaign, the Phillies got the monkey off their collective backs, winning 4-1 this past Tuesday against the New York Yankees. In the 4-1 victory, Philadelphia played their expected brand of baseball -- pairing strong pitching with a productive offense.

On Friday, the Phillies came home to much-needed support from the Phillies faithful, winning two of three games against the Cincinnati Reds.

Heading into Monday’s game against the Miami Marlins, the Phillies are 3-6 on the year. In two of the three Phillies’ wins, the club has piled up 10 hits, indicating the team has offensive potential. The pitching needs to hold up their end of the bargain going forward.

Tim Boyle - The Phillies are sloppy, but other teams are sloppier

The Phillies are a sloppy team fighting injuries. Woeful beginnings from Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Taijuan Walker are definitely alarming. It almost takes away from the success Bailey Falter has had. He never really belonged in the starting rotation and yet he has been their most consistent starting pitcher.

Winning a few games against the best teams in the game, like the New York Yankees, is important for the success of the Philadelphia Phillies this season. They took one out of three against New York in the Bronx before winning two of three games at home versus the Cincinnati Reds.

Strong starts from Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm, and Brandon Marsh should have fans feeling confident they can get by in the absence of Rhys Hoskins. However, the volatile bullpen has been far too shaky to begin the year. Overall, it’s a mess.

Fortunately, we’ve seen Rob Thomson’s leadership clean things up before. Plus, there’s a guy named Bryce Harper on his way with a bucket and a mop.

Upcoming Schedule

On Monday, the Phillies will begin a three-game set at home against the Miami Marlins. Matt Strahm will toe the rubber for Philadelphia, with Sandy Alcantara on the mound for Miami. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. EST.

This weekend, the Phillies and Reds will meet again, this time in Cincinnati for a four-game series.