Whit Merrifield’s hilarious quote puts his struggles with Phillies into perspective

After his big hit in the London Series, the veteran took a jab at himself and had a positive outlook.
Philadelphia Phillies utility player Whit Merrifield
Philadelphia Phillies utility player Whit Merrifield / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

There's no denying it and no way of sugar-coating it: Whit Merrifield's first season with the Philadelphia Phillies has been a disaster. Now over 60 games into the schedule, the veteran utility player hasn't done much to endear himself to the fans or contribute to the Phillies' 45-20 record.

The good news is, there's still time to turn things around.

Over the weekend, Merrifield came through big-time in Game 1 of the London Series against the New York Mets and followed up with some quotes that put everything into perspective for the 35-year-old's season, including a hilarious quip about his struggles.

Whit Merrifield’s hilarious quote puts his struggles with Phillies into perspective

Merrifield launched a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning on Saturday, which put the Phillies up 5-1 and put the game out of reach against the Mets. It was his third home run of the season and his first since May 4.

“It felt good to drive some runs in. I feel like I’ve left the whole Premier League on base the past couple months," Merrifield said after the game, per MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

He's not far off. Adding another RBI on Sunday boosted his season total to eight. If you're doing the math in your head, yes, that's right, he doubled his season-long RBI output in the two London games.

Merrifield's struggles are one of the few sore spots on a juggernaut Phillies team, especially since he was the lone new free agent addition in the offseason. He was expected to strengthen the bench. He has done anything but.

Merrifield's struggles get worse with runners on base

Slashing a measly .177/.250/.292 through his sporadic playing time with 125 plate appearances, he's hitting .206 with the bases empty. That drops to .140 with runners on base and .152 with runners in scoring position — yikes.

But on Saturday, the nine-year veteran came through and helped power the six-run fourth inning.

"I finally made a good swing on a good pitch and did something good for the team," Merrifield added, per Zolecki. "It’s what I’m here to do. I haven’t done a great job of that, but we’re the best team in baseball on a historic run."

Known as a contact hitter, making contact hasn't been his problem in 2024. At 10.4 percent, he's striking out less than his career 15.8 percent rate. It's the type of contact he's making, though. He's seen a drastic drop in his line drive rate and is hitting more ground balls, indicating a timing or mechanical issue.

“We are by far the best team in baseball. I don’t care what my numbers are, I just want to help the team,” Merrifield said, per Luke Arcaini of FOX Sports.

At least he knows what his role is and isn't panicking, thanks to the team's success. Hopefully, his two hits and four RBI on the weekend are the beginning of a turn-around. The Phillies plan to continue playing him, so he has to figure it out.