June 19, 2024

The Philadelphia Phillies, known for their recent success in MLB with consecutive wild card appearances and a National League pennant in 2022, have encountered a sluggish start to the 2024 season.

According to columnist Will Leitch of MLB.com, who updated his “Major League Baseball Power Rankings,” the Phillies have dropped to the sixth spot due to their struggling lineup, notably shortstop Trea Turner.

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Leitch also referenced Turner’s previous billboard displays in Philadelphia as a gesture of appreciation towards the fans, suggesting that perhaps another billboard might be necessary given Turner’s tough start this season, batting .222 with no home runs and 12 strikeouts.

However, Leitch noted that Turner isn’t the sole concern, as the team as a whole is hitting only .229. This assessment aligns with the early season numbers, as the Phillies started the year at 4-5 in their first nine games, facing tough opponents like the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds in consecutive home series.

Despite some positive aspects, including a high-scoring game against the Reds, the Phillies finished the homestand with a disappointing 2-4 record.

Kyle Schwarber expressed optimism about the team’s potential but acknowledged the challenge ahead as they hit the road for their upcoming games.

Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson expressed his frustration with the team’s offensive performance in 2024 to Philadelphia Inquirer writer Scott Lauber.

Thomson believes that his team is capable of much better play, particularly at the plate, and he remains confident that they will improve.

Even Bryce Harper, the Phillies’ reliable superstar with seven All-Star appearances, experienced a slump at the beginning of the season before breaking out with a remarkable performance on April 3 against Cincinnati, hitting three home runs and driving in six runs.

Harper commented on his approach at the plate and his efforts to overcome his early offensive struggles.

“I’ve been feeling really good,” Harper remarked about his performance so far. “Although the results haven’t been what I wanted, I felt I had some solid swings in the Atlanta series and yesterday as well. I’m focused on building on that and maintaining my momentum.”

It seems the Phillies may have responded to writer Will Leitch’s critique, as their offense showed signs of life in the series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals. They managed to collect 10 hits and secure a 5-3 victory over the Redbirds.

With a current record of 5-5, Philadelphia will finish their three-game series in St. Louis against the 5-6 Cardinals before heading back home for a four-game series against their in-state rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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