Some quick observations on the Phillies’ first weekend
Might as well go first with the obvious. There was no relief to be found in the Phils’ middle relievers. I don’t know if the club expects Ranger Suarez and Victor Arano to get here soon and stabilize things. Or if the front office really thought experienced relievers after Hector Neris, Adam Morgan, Jose Alvarez and Tommy Hunter weren’t necessary. Whatever scenario they envisioned, it’s not working at the moment. And with the Yankees up next for four games, it may only get worse.
On a positive note, I really like the addition of Didi Gregorius. Even though the Phillies were 3-22 with runners in scoring position against the Marlins, I think the hitting will be fine, along with the defense. The walks are still coming but strikeouts seem to down. That’s a good sign.
And I can see why the Phillies overpaid for Zack Wheeler. If he can be a good to very good No. 2 starter, he’s worth the money. The Phils were desperate for someone who can pitch with elite velocity like Wheeler does, in the high 90s. Neris throws hard, I think, but who else? Vince Velasquez? Nick Pivetta? Eh. Velasquez’s 16-strikeout game in April 2016 against the Padres was a lifetime ago.
Props for Haseley, and Segura’s future
Manager Joe Girardi is still getting a feel for his players. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Adam Haseley plays the bulk of the innings in center field. I was impressed with Haseley as a rookie last year in September, when everything else for the team was falling apart. He more than held his own at the plate and was excellent in the outfield.
I also wonder if Jean Segura will lose his spot at third this season to top hitting prospect Alec Bohm. He appears to be the odd man out in the infield when Bohm is promoted. Segura, after a nice start to the season last year with a .300-plus average, has not been good since. The Phils may have trouble unloading his contract if he doesn’t get his offensive groove back.