|Hernandez, Herrera, Galvis part of recent losing core|
The glorious winning decade of success from 2001-2011 reclaimed old fans and captivated a new generation of younger fans. All of that glory and excitement is now, sadly, a faded memory.
THE LOSING CORE
Those players include catcher Cameron Rupp, who turns 29 years old in two months. Rupp has been the starter behind the plate for most of the last two and a half seasons.
Second baseman Cesar Hernandez and shortstop Freddy Galvis, both 27 years old now, are each in their third season as the starting Keystone combo.
Center fielder Odubel Herrera is 25 years of age. ‘El Torito’ is in his third starting season as well. Third baseman Maikel Franco, who turns 25 a month from now, is now in his third season as the primary starter at the hot corner.
For the vast majority of the last three seasons, that core of Rupp, Hernandez, Galvis, Herrera, and Franco have been written into the Phillies starting lineup.
In 2015 they finished 63-99, the worst record in Major League Baseball. They barely avoiding becoming the first Phillies team in more than a half-century to lose 100 or more games.
In 2016 they “improved” to 71-91, and thus finished ahead of seven of MLB’s other 29 teams. There was hope that maybe, just maybe, they were taking a step forward. Alas, it was not to be.
Thus far in 2017 the Phillies are 35-64, which is back to being the worst record in all of baseball. There has been no progress shown down at Citizens Bank Park. Not by the team as a whole, and not by this core group of players who remain regulars in the starting lineup.
PHILLIES NEED SOLUTIONS, NOT EXCUSES
The fact is that with this Phillies core, the proof is in the pudding. They have been the core now into this third season. The team is a combined 85 games below the .500 mark in that time.
PROSPECTS ARE NEARLY READY FOR THEIR SHOT
Maybe worse, perhaps management recognizes it, but has invested so much in publicizing these players that they have already written off the 2017 season completely, and are willing to just let it die.
TIME TO TURN THE PAGE
Due they have the stomach to look beyond the positives that the current core players have in certain areas of their games, and give the full-time opportunities needed by the younger, higher upside kids?
Moving on from core players who have been here, holding down the fort for 2-3-4 difficult, losing years. But it is a necessary phase, one that it is the management team’s job to see through successfully.