Lineup Changes for the Phillies as they continue to struggle on offense
The Phillies stagnant offense and league-worst defense was on full display during their weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. It ended yesterday with Zach Eflin having his worst outing of the season as the Phillies lost to the Rays 6-2.
The Phillies fall to 25-28, three games below .500. They are now in. the bottom third of Major League Baseball in runs per game, on-base percentage, slugging, and home runs. They lead the National League in strikeouts.
The Phillies are 10-18 on the road and have only scored 12 runs in their last five games. They are four games behind the Mets in the NL East and six back in the race for the Wildcard. It’s definitely still early and the Phillies have struggled with injuries through the first two months of baseball, but they have done nothing to inspire hope as we roll into the summer months of the 2021 season.
Yesterday, the Phillies made a change to the top of their order, moving Andrew McCutchen from the leadoff spot down to number six in the order. Cutch is slumping yet again, hitting .111 with 20 strikeouts in his last 12 games and has now gone 17 games without a multi-hit game. He was 1-for-4 yesterday and is slashing .199/.316/.362 on the season.
Odubel Herrera was moved up in the lineup. In the leadoff spot yesterday, he went 1-for-5 and lined out to left-center with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to end the game. Right now it’s a toss up between Jean Segura or Herrera to lead off for the Phillies. Since the Rays sent Collin McHugh to the mound yesterday, they opted to go with Herrera against a left handed pitcher.
Phillies Lineup Today vs Reds
First question: Where the hell is Nick Maton? The most consistent bat in the lineup can’t see the field anymore? That in itself is just ridiculous.
No matter which way you want to shape the Phillies’ lineup, they are still only averaging 2.8 runs over their last 11 games. They entered yesterday 20th in the majors in runs per game on the season. They are 17th in batting average, 18th in on-base percentage, and 22nd in slugging percentage.
Roman Quinn is expected to miss the rest of the season. Travis Jankowski was the next man up for the Phillies. The 30 year old outfielder has 994 MLB plate appearances in six seasons and can’t be expected to provide anything from the plate for the Phillies, but rather a glove in the outfield.
The Phillies will kick-off a three game road series against the 23-28 Reds today at 2:10pm. The Reds have lost 10-of-14 games. If the Phillies want to get back in good graces with the city of Philadelphia, sweeping an inferior Reds team on the road would be the best way to do that.
Phillies Starters vs Reds
Vince Velasquez faces left-hander Wade Miley in Game 1 Monday at 2:10 p.m.
Aaron Nola goes up against Sonny Gray in Game 2 Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.
Spencer Howard pitches the series finale against rookie Vladimir Gutierrez Wednesday at 12:35 p.m.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY