It still amazes me that the Phillies are only 2.5 games out of the wild card race. The team that hasn’t won five consecutive games continues to win a series and then lose a series. What can we fans expect out of the Phillies as they push towards the playoffs?
Many fans will not want to hear this, however, I believe that Gabe Kapler will be back next year to manage this club. GM Matt Klentak just came out and gave his support for Kapler.
While Kapler certainly has had his issues this season, I am optimistic that he is learning to be a manager from Charlie Manuel. He has since stopped tinkering with the lineup and has set an everyday lineup, having minimal changes to go against opposing pitchers.
As the Phillies head into a tough stretch of the schedule, I want to see what Kapler can do moving forward. It’s going to be tough to make it into the playoffs with the current pitching staff. Kapler is going to have to manage each game like he did last night. Kapler managed like it was a playoff game and like him or not, IT WORKED.
I feel that Kapler’s job is secure for next year. In fact, I think the only reason Kapler would lose his job would be if they failed to make the playoffs and Klentak makes the move to save his own job. Kapler has struggled this year. He has dealt with injuries to the bullpen and has managed with a AAA level pitching staff. It is my opinion that the faults of this team can be mostly attributed to Klentak’s failure to address the pitching. Now Klentak has put together a solid lineup, but as the saying goes, defense wins championships, and the pitcher is the ultimate defender. Now Gabe needs to continue to improve and grow into the manager’s role down the stretch.
Hoskins is Back
Kapler adjusted to the current lineup on August 28th, and in doing so moved Rhys Hoskins back to the cleanup spot. That and a new haircut was the remedy to break his slump. Since that day, Hoskins has hit 8 for 20 with two homers and 5 RBI. Hoskins has seemingly figured it out.
Credit to Rhys during this slump. He never shied away from the media. Never blasted the fans for booing him. He kept working. Rhys adjusted his mechanics and shortened his swing. It has worked. If the Phillies are going to make the playoffs, Rhys Hoskins has to be driving in runs!
Corey Dickerson needs and extension (so does Realmuto)
Corey Dickerson has been a welcome surprise to the Phillies. Klentak did a great job bringing in the former all-star and he has not disappointed. Dickerson has solidified the left field and the leadoff hitter positions. In 26 games, he is hitting .304 with 5 home runs and 26 RBI. Right now he is the best Phillies hitter. It is difficult to predict how 34-year-old Andrew McCutchen will respond from his injury next year, Dickerson will give the outfield much-needed depth.
J.T Realmuto is proving that he is, in fact, the best catcher in baseball. His hitting can be streaky at times, however, his defense shines. Realmuto has thrown out 40 of 82 runners trying to steal. That is 49%! Absolutely crazy state. The next best catcher is Yasmani Grandal who has thrown out 28% of would-be base stealers. It’s safe to say that extending both players would be in the Phillies’ best interest.
The last month of the season should be a fun one. Here is hoping that the Phillies go on a tear and make some noise in the playoffs. RING THE BELL!
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Matt is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in Journalism. After College he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army where he was an Airborne Ranger and served with the famed 101st Airborne Division. RAKKASAN! When not at work you can find him coaching his son and daughter’s sports teams. Follow Matt, AKA the Delco Dope on twitter at https://twitter.com/delco_dope