2019 Team Preview #15: Philadelphia Phillies
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On to the preview!
2018 Record: 83-79, 4th Place NL East, 13 Games Back.
2018 was pretty hum-drum for the Phillies – they basically hovered around .500 all year, never really sinking too far but never seriously threatening for the division. They were in the Wild Card running on into September but never seemed to have a very tight grip on actually securing it. Will 2019 be more of the same or have things taken a step in a different direction in the City of Brotherly Love?
SS Tyler Bortnick (FA)
That’s seriously it.
RP John O’Quinn (FA)
3B Conor Gillaspie (FA)
RF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (FA)
1B Matt Adams (FA)
3B Neftali Soto (FA)
C Ramon Cabrera (FA)
As you can see from the above, the 2019 Phillies will look an awful lot like the 2018 Phillies. On offense, that isn’t a good thing as they were in the bottom third of the NL in a number of offensive categories. 1B Ryobe Kamida (.267, 31 HR, 95 RBI) is the centerpiece of the lineup and he’ll be joined at the top of the lineup by a trio of hitters in their prime: C Logan Moore (18 HR), SS Felicio Roxa (.277, 44 2B) and CF Emilio Martinez (.308, 14 SB). Joining Roxa and Kamida in the infield will be former Royal 3B Jeffrey Walker (47 BB) and 2B Jonathan Roof (41 BB). Flanking Martinez in the OF will be the well-traveled John Schultz (.298, 31 2B) in left and veteran Dave Sappelt (10 HR) in RF.
While running back the same lineup isn’t great for the Phillies, running back the same pitching staff is. Phillies pitchers were 3rd in the NL in K’s in 2018, and allowed the 2nd fewest walks and HR. 2016 Cy Young Winner Sean Gilmartin (2.96 ERA) heads the rotation and he’ll be joined by solid Brad Peacock (174 K’s), reliable 25-year-old Carson Fulmer (3.08 ERA), 2014 Cy Young Winner Brandon Beachy (6-3 in 14 GS) and former Blue Jay Chad Jenkins (3.93 ERA). 24-year-old closer Juan Ibarra (2.55 ERA and 44 Saves) returns to lockdown the low-scoring games and he’ll be joined by former closer, Shawn Tolleson (89 K in 77 IP). Spearheading the middle innings are Michael Morrison (3.33 ERA), Brandon Creath (3.31 ERA), Kam Mickolio (8.5 K/9) and lefty Jimmy Bannatyne (8.8 K/9)
Really, there isn’t a ton to get excited about. They lost a reliable hitter and didn’t really replace him. With the tough Braves and Mets, and the improving Nationals and Marlins, the Phillies likely won’t do a ton of damage in 2019. I’ve got them just barely edging out the Marlins for last place in the East, finishing 4th at 77-85.