This is the kind of report card kids avoid showing their parents. Fans knew 2015 would be a rough season, but who could have been prepared for such an unmitigated disaster? There have been some bright spots, but overall it’s been a very difficult stretch for even the most ardent Phillie fan.
First Base: D
Ryan Howard has some pop left. He can crush a mistake but he’s ashell of who he was a half-decade ago. Pitchers routinely challenge the big piece with fastballs. How times have changed. Howard is virtually untradeable.
Second Base: D
It would be an F if it weren’t for Cesar Hernandez. Utley is at the end of a long, enviable career. It’s so painful watching the iconic figure at the plate. The aging gamer has looked so bad waving at breaking pitches and he’s been unable to handle outside fastballs. Regarding Cesar Hernandez: he’s been impressiveover the last two-weeks. It’s a small a sample size but at least it’s promising.
Freddy Galvis is the pleasant surprise of the season. Who would ever guess that Galvis would be hitting .279 at the middle of the campaign? Galvis has managed to stay within himself. The slick-fielding Venezuelan has been great with the glove, except when he tries to do too much. Certainly an upgrade over Jimmy Rollins.
Third base: B +
Maikel Franco could still be a bit more patient at the plate and he needs to work on hitting breaking balls. However, he has power and he makes contact. Franco connects with 80 percent of pitches and he also has made adjustments, which led to improvement at every level. Franco is special.
Left field: C-
Cody Asche projects to a fifth outfielder. He’s done a really nice job for a guy who’s never played the outfield, but his bat isn’t big enough to start.
Center field: B
Ben Revere is just about at .300, which is the norm for him at this time of year. During spring training he said he bulked up hoping to add more pop and to add some gap power. Revere has also drawn more walks in 2015 and has played well in the outfield, particularly in left. Herrera is a heck of a pick-up for a Rule 5. He is athletic, fearless and smart.
Right field: D
Dom Brown pulls down the grade. He can’t stay above the Mendoza Line and he has no pop. It’s frustrating since he appears to have all of the physical tools, but it’s just not working. Jeff Francoeur has had some clutch hits and he’s a capable outfielder with a gun.
Carlos Ruiz has plenty of miles on the odometer and it shows. He’s looked positively Utley-esque at times behind the plate and at the dish. Cameron Rupp is a decent backup, but he’s now part of a platoon. There’s a power outage at catcher.
Starting Pitching: D
It’s astonishing since Cole Hamels has been excellent for most of the season and Aaron Harang had a great first two months before imploding. But there has been too much Jerome Williams, Sean O’ Sullivan and Kevin Correia, etc.
Bullpen: C +
The ’pen isn’t what it was last season. That’s not surprising since relievers are the most volatile players in baseball. Jonathan Papelbon has been very good though. Ken Giles went through a bit of a sophomore slump but has picked it up. Jake Diekman and Justin De Fratus have taken steps back. But the bullpen is the least of the Phillies’ problems
With a lineup that is threadbare, what do you expect from the reserves?
Pete Mackanin is the right guy for the job. He’s a tough baseball lifer, who will take the lumps. Ryne Sandberg earned an F. He lost control of the players on the field and in the clubhouse.