The Phillies offense is running out of excuses but is there a way to stop the bleeding?

Philadelphia Phillies' Cristian Pache
Philadelphia Phillies’ Cristian Pache celebrates after hitting a RBI double against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, April 28, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

It has become painfully obvious that the 2023 Phillies offense has taken a step back from last season. In a year when you add Trea Turner, you get the classic Nick Castellanos back, and your younger players take a step forward in their development, you’d expect the offense also to take a step forward.

There has been quite the opposite in terms of offensive production for the Phillies. After being shut out Tuesday night against the Mets, there needs to be a shakeup regarding the Phillies lineup. Sitting at 25-29, the Phils can’t bank on another scorching hot June to turn their fortunes around.

June Schwarber isn’t enough for the Phillies

The folklore surrounding Kyle Schwarber in the month of June has gotten out of hand.

Yes, Schwarber has been incredible in June for the last two seasons. He carried the Phillies during June of 2022, slashing .272 / .385 / .680 / 1.065 with 12 home runs. It was his best month of the season, and it helped the Phillies crawl out of the hole they dug themselves into.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber (12) celebrates after his grand slam off of Chicago Cubs’ Jameson Taillon (not shown) with Nick Castellanos, left, Bryson Stott (5) and Bryce Harper (3) during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

But as we are now in the second season of Kyle Schwarber as a Phillie, his production in the months of April and May isn’t acceptable. Schwarbs is batting .166 on the season, with an OPS of .720. 13 of his 31 hits are home runs, and he has the third least amount of hits among qualified batters in the MLB.

While his power is still there, everything else has lacked. His defense in left field has never been considered to be outstanding, but it feels as though it is worse this season. Whether that’s just the eye test or if the numbers support this claim, all I know is that Kyle is not hitting well enough to overlook his defense.

We cannot bank on Kyle Schwarber becoming an all-star once June 1st hits. While it would be nice for him to go on another tear, I just don’t see it happening for a third consecutive season. He needs to be better if the Phillies want to get back to the postseason.

Lineup Construction

I will be the first to admit that I wanted Bryson Stott to be the everyday leadoff hitter for the Phillies.

Stott gives great at-bats, seeing a lot of pitches and working counts in his favor. Bryson does not walk a lot, and that is one of the key abilities a leadoff hitter needs to be able to do. He has just 12 walks on the season, which has him seventh on the current club. Considering he has the second-most plate appearances on the team, that is not good enough to keep him at the top.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryson Stott (5) celebrates with third base coach Dusty Wathan (62) after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

We all know that Trea Turner hasn’t been the player we are all expecting. I do think he has been improving over the last few weeks, and even when he gets out, he’s hitting the ball a lot harder. I have faith in Turner turning it around (pun intended), just like Nick Castellanos has been able to do.

The current lineup needs to change since what we are seeing is just not working on a consistent basis.

Below is the lineup that I would look to try out over the next few weeks.

Trea TurnerR
Bryce HarperL
Nick CastellanosR
Alec BohmR
Kyle SchwarberL
JT RealmutoR
Brandon MarshL
Bryson StottL
Edmundo Sosa / Kody ClemensR/L

Trea Turner has been a leadoff hitter before. If he is going to figure it out at the plate, I like the idea of him trying to get it done at the leadoff spot. Getting him on base for Bryce Harper feels like a recipe for success. While this pairing has been batting 2-3 in the lineup, this, in theory, would give them more opportunities.

Nick Castellanos has been the best hitter on the team this season. Slashing .295 / .344 / .462 / .806, Casty has 18 doubles on the season with 28 RBIs. He has delivered more times than not, and while he is still chasing offspeed pitches low and away, his discipline has improved. I would keep him behind Harper in the lineup, but again look to get him more at-bats.

The next change that I am making is moving Alec Bohm into the four spots of the order. Bohm has 37 runs batted in this season and has mostly been hitting in the 6-7 range in the lineup. Giving him more chances with runners seems like a smart idea.

I would then follow Bohm with Kyle Schwarber and JT Realmuto. Both hitters are great when they get hot but can be brutal to watch when cold. Having them back to back here would hopefully force them both to see some better pitching, which potentially can result in better production.

I would wrap things with Marsh-Stott-Sosa/Clemens. Marsh was the best hitter in baseball in April but has cooled off drastically. Dealing with some back issues that have since been resolved, has given him his spark back. I would like to see Marsh get a chance at the top of the lineup, but if Rob Thomson doesn’t want to move him up, this is the best spot for him.