Entering Thursday, the Phillies find themselves at 12-14, just ahead of three other teams in the NL East all separated by one game in the win column. In what has been a mixed start to the season, a handful of players have really excelled and, of course, there’s always a few slow starters.
Aaron Altherr, LF
What else can be said about this guy? The tall, rangy outfielder has done it all with both bat and glove since taking over as the everyday starter in the absence of Howie Kendrick. Altherr is batting .327 with 10 RBI, seven doubles and three homers in just 55 at-bats. He’s about to surpass names like Odubel Herrera and Tommy Joseph — both have 11 RBI — despite being separated by 40-plus at bats.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B
Hernandez leads the team in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (four). He’s also picked out 35 hits, which is second to only Daniel Murphy for most by an NL second baseman. Hernandez is on the fast track to earning his first All-Star nod, which couldn’t come at a better time as the Phillies’ wealth of second baseman prospects are making some noise in the lower ranks.
Jeremy Hellickson, SP
The constant force of the rotation continues to keep chugging along. Hellickson has an impressive 4-1 record with a team-best 3.18 ERA in 34 innings pitched. His strikeout numbers are down a bit, but he isn’t handing out many free passes, either. On a staff where no other pitcher has more than two wins, Hellickson has shined the brightest. If anything, Hellickson has only strengthened his value on the trade market.
Vince Velasquez, SP
The opposite of Hellickson, Velasquez has really faced some tough sledding to start the season, despite his respectable 2-2 record. His 5.47 ERA is the lowest among qualified starters on the Phillies. The deepest in a game he’s gone is six and one-third innings with three of his starts seeing him exit in the fifth or earlier.
Tommy Joseph, 1B
In his first season as the everyday starter at first base, Joseph has done little to convince the front office he’s the man for the job moving forward. He sports a .187 average that was even lower a few games back when it dipped to .179. He has record just two multihit games in his first 22 games.
Jeanmar Gomez, RP
Entering the year as the closer, Gomez quickly saw his placement in the bullpen drop a few pegs after blowing a save against the Nationals in his third appearance. At the time, his ERA was up to 15.00. It now sits at 9.64. He has given up multiple runs in three of his eight outings, which is why the team has gone a different route in the ninth inning.