I know that Philadelphia just signed Bryce Harper and we’ll be facing him 19 times a year (maybe more) for the next 13 seasons.
But I’m not worried.
Every team Bryce Harper was on with the Nationals were better than this current Phillies team. Every last one. All seven years.
— Rey Brutal (@ReyBrutal) March 1, 2019
I agree. Don’t get me wrong, Philadelphia has put together a good offseason. How solid was their core though? Let’s take a look at how some Phillies that are still on the 40 man roster did last year in terms of WAR.
Maikel Franco 0.2 WAR
Nick Williams -1.0 WAR
Cesar Hernandez 1.4 WAR
Odubel Herrera 0.2 WAR
Rhys Hoskins 0.5 WAR
Scott Kingery -1.5 WAR
Aaron Altherr -0.8 WAR
Roman Quinn 0.3 WAR
Andrew Knapp -0.3 WAR
Mitch Walding -0.2 WAR
Dylan Cozens -0.3 WAR
Some of the players listed above will be on the opening day roster. Furthermore, some of the players listed above will be in the opening day lineup. Now, Rhys Hoskins’ WAR should be taken with a grain of salt, as he took a hit playing an unfamiliar position. But Maikel Franco? Nick Williams? Odubel Herrera?
That’s a solid lineup. They are going to score a lot of runs. Let’s say the Mets’ x-factors (Who have looked great this spring) in Amed Rosario and Peter Alonso don’t pan out. Let’s say Céspedes doesn’t return. Are we overly concerned about anyone not named Realmuto, Segura Harper or Hoskins? Is this Philly lineup THAT much better than ours?
Maybe it is.
But you know what? There’s gonna be a time where Philadelphia has a must-win series. Maybe it’s in Washington. Maybe it’s home against Atlanta. If Nola pitched in the previous series, it’s very likely Philadelphia will roll out Zack Eflin, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velazquez or Jerad Eickhoff.
What about Bryce Harper?
Well, we know what he’s capable of. We saw how good he was in 2015. (The Mets ran away with the division that year, by the way.)
We’ve also seen how inconsistent he is, year to year. We’ve seen how much of a liability he’s become defensively. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that Harper is a bad player. Because he’s not. I’m going to tell you that we’ve watched enough NL East baseball to know that Harper is not going to put the Phillies over the top.
Notice how I started all this by saying YET.
If Philadelphia goes out and picks up Dallas Keuchel and/or Craig Kimbrel, then that’s a different story altogether. Suddenly, the depth signings of Adeiny Hechavarría and Danny Espinosa don’t bring me as much comfort as they once did.
I say all that to say this. Keep the faith Met fans.