The Phillies have had 11 free agent acquisitions make an impact in some way, shape, or form during the 2021 campaign. Following their series victory over the Padres during Fourth of July weekend, the Phillies have officially reached the halfway point on the season. Today, we take a look at the first half of the season to determine which 2021 Phillies free agents have performed well, and which ones have performed terribly so far this season.
Phillies Free Agents: In the Field
Let’s try to start on a positive note.
Ronald Torreyes signed a minor league contract with the Phillies back in December after spending the 2020 season in Philadelphia. The 28-year old middle infielder spent a majority of the 2020 campaign on the Lehigh Valley taxi squad while appearing in four games with the big league club.
Heading into this year, Torreyes was mostly seen as a depth addition for the infield. Torreyes, however, made the Opening Day roster for the Phillies and has, bar a stint on the Injured List, has remained with the club for the entire season.
Torreyes has appeared almost exclusively at shortstop this season, with a few games at second base, third base, and center field thrown in. While the infielder has not performed up to the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr. or even Francisco Lindor, he was never expected to. The backup infielder has stepped up a few times throughout the season and has proven his worth as a bench bat/utility man for the Phillies.
Ronald Torreyes Grade: C
The Best Catcher in Baseball has not had his best year this year. Though having recently been named to the NL All-Star Game Roster, Realmuto has admittedly not performed well this season:
“I definitely didn’t play my best baseball, in my opinion, on either side of the ball. Just have to get more consistent at the plate. I’ve thrown myself into a pretty big slump the last three weeks or so. I just haven’t felt myself. Before that, I was doing OK with the bat, but that kind of put a damper on my first half. I just need to get back to being consistent, being myself, and kind of put the first half behind me.”
Realmuto owns a 123 OPS+ on the season, hitting for eight home runs over 64 games played. A two-week stint on the Injured List shelved Realmuto in late May. From June 22nd to July 2nd, Realmuto was in a terrible 3-for-36 slump. He has had three hits in eight at bats since July 3rd, indicating that the All-Star may be finding his way out of the slump.
Despite a poor month of June with a .693 OPS on the month, Realmuto has been a contributor on the team for the Phillies, though not the MVP-quality we have come to expect from the BCIB.
J.T. Realmuto Grade: A
When the Phillies lost Gregorius due to pseudogout in his right elbow, it struck a blow to the Phillies’ offense. The shortstop began the season with an 11-game hit streak befor falling into a slump through late April and into mid-May. After that streak broke, he found himself in a slump for the next month, batting .182 over the stretch until his injury took him out on May 12th.
The Phillies’ shortstop has had it rough this season, fighting injuries and a slump for most of the first half of the season. While Gregorius will likely turn the the heat up heading into the second half, that does not help his first half grade here.
Didi Gregorius Grade: B
Matt Joyce has an abysmal five hits in 50 at bats on the year for the Phillies. The outfielder was looked at to be a strong bat off of the bench for the Phillies, but has failed to be any form of effective throughout the season. Currently on the Injured List, there is not much to talk about here. Matt Joyce has not warranted a roster spot when he returns from the IL.
Matt Joyce Grade: F
With eight hits in 23 at bats on the season, Travis Jankowski has been a nice change-of-pace off the bench for the Phillies. Well, when he isn’t a deer in the headlights on the basepath anyway.
Since making his first appearance for the year on May 31st, the Lancaster native has been putting the bat on the ball and even recorded a three-hit game against the Nationals on June 23rd. With a good offensive performance in a small sample size and a few boneheaded plays, Jankowski receives a passing grade, though time will tell how he performs in the second half.
Travis Jankowski Grade: C
Brad Miller has played just about everywhere for the Phillies this season. The infielder has found himself in both corner positions, second base, and in the outfield in addition to his prescribed pinch hitting duties. Bamboo Brad has hit six home runs and owns a 107 OPS+ on the season. While Miller has mostly been a pinch hitter on the season, he has found himself in the starting lineup on several occassions due to injury and as necessary with the designated hitter.
Brad Miller Grade: B
Phillies Free Agents: On the Mound
And this is where it starts to get ugly for Phillies free agents. Neftali Feliz is a former Rookie of the Year. You would not be able to tell from how he performed in his short stay in Philadelphia. Called up only a week ago, the reliever appeared in two games for the Phillies, allowing four runs in 1.0 innings pitched.
Released on Saturday, Feliz was only with the big league club for exactly one week.
Neftali Feliz Grade: BAD
After only four appearances on the season, Archie Bradley found himself on the Injured List for over a month due to an oblique strain. The reliever was the Phillies’ crown jewel bullpen acquisition over the offseason as fans expected him to become the team’s new closer.
With a 4.05 ERA, one blown save, and one save on the season, Bradley clearly has not met expectations. The reliever has just recorded his third consecutive scoreless outing last night against the Cubs. Bradley only owns a 5.85 K/9 on the year, down from his 8.8 K/9 in 2020. While not the most terrible reliever out of the bullpen for the Phillies, Bradley will need to step up in a big way if the Phillies are to rebound in the second half.
Archie Bradley Grade: C
After a four-inning, two run start last night, Matt Moore owns a 5.60 ERA on the season. The pitcher has made five starts on the season, appearing in 11 games overall for the Phillies.
When the Phillies signed him and Chase Anderson over the offseason, the hope was that one of them (if not both) would be a serviceable option in the Phillies’ rotation. Moore has only recorded one good outing on the season, five shutout innings against the Mets on June 25th. Hopefully Moore can use the momentum from that appearance to start off the second half strong, but his first half was not pretty.
Matt Moore Grade: D
Chase Anderson started out the season in the Phillies’ starting rotation. Eight starts and 11 appearances later, the starting pitcher owns a 7.34 ERA on the season. He has only pitched 38 innings on the year and has only pitched five innings three times on the season.
Currently on the Injured List, Anderson has not started in a game since May 16th where he only lasted 1.1 innings against the Blue Jays. Anderson and Moore are only two of many Phillies free agents from this offseason, but their performance is emblematic for how the team has performed overall this season.
Chase Anderson Grade: F
A mid-Spring Training addition to the bullpen, Brandon Kintzler came in as another experienced arm that would look to sure up the Phillies’ bullpen. And now he is another veteran that has struggled for the Phillies. Kintzler recently returned from a stint on the Injured List from a neck strain that kept him out for most of the month of June.
The reliever had struggled to find consistency in the bullpen prior the injury and currently owns an 8.50 ERA on the season in 18 innings pitched. Kintzler will hopefully begin to move on from his neck injury and improve for the second half of the season. That does not, however, take away from home bad his first half was.
Brandon Kintzler Grade: F
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire