In the month of May, the Philadelphia Phillies have gone 6-19 with a series against the Marlins to finish up the month. That’s an extremely rough month after a promising April start of around .500 baseball. The Phillies are on pace to lose between 104-105 games this season, which would be a huge step in the wrong direction with the rebuild of this team. Despite mostly negatives, there were some positives to take away from this brutal month.
Aaron Altherr is a keeper. After being injured to begin the season, Aaron Altherr has come out firing this season. He now leads the Phillies in batting average at .303, with 8 home runs and 26 RBIs in just 41 games played. With his speed, his solid defense and patience at the plate, he will probably hold a spot in the outfield for a while in Philly.
Despite the losses, the bullpen is trending up. The Phillies bullpen had a dreadful 4.84 ERA in the month of April. Whatever it may be, the men in the pen shaved a full run off of that ERA with a 3.73 ERA in the month of May. Pat Neshek, Hector Neris and Joaquin Benoit have done a much better job in the past month.
Nothing in the middle. The middle of the lineup in the month of May was absolutely brutal and inconsistent. Odubel Herrera (in the #2 spot) is batting .181 in the month. Maikel Franco (who has been at #4 and recently #6) is batting .213 for the month. Michael Saunders (who has been at #5) is batting .220 for the month. Do you see the theme here? Even if Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis and Aaron Altherr can get on, the guys in the middle can’t get them home.
Jeremy Hellickson: Clear #1. In the 10 games that Jeremy Hellickson has started, the Phillies have won 8 times. In the 38 games that Hellickson hasn’t started, the Phillies have won 9 times. Think about that stat!!
The Phillies haven’t found a reliable lineup and it’s almost June. This isn’t meant to be a shot at Pete Mackanin, but if the Phillies players don’t have a consistent spot in the lineup, how can they expect to get in a rhythm? Other than Cesar Hernandez leading off, everything else has been a crapshoot. The skipper needs to find the lineup that works, and fast.