Still shorthanded, Flyers fall to Rangers
Big Play Breakdown: Eagles at 49ers

Grading the 2014 Season in Review

The season is over. At 73-89, the Phillies were exactly as bad as they were in 2013, except they finished a spot worse now. The future is bleak, and there is no good pathway forward. None of that matters right now though, because we want to look backwards. I want to take a look at the 2014 team, and break it down further.

The Line-Up: D
The offense was a little bit better than in 2014, but not by a noticeable amount. The line-up still had several major eye-sores, all of which are well documented. Before the season I said they'd be better because they only had two players hit well in 2013, so everyone had to improve. Then I watched this season unfold.

Ben Revere gets a B- overall because he did the things well that he's supposed to do well. He hit for a high average, lead the NL in hits, and finished third in MLB in steals, while hitting his first two MLB homers, and tracking down balls well. His lack of an arm or power hurt his grade, but he was a two WAR player. Jimmy Rollins gets a B for his season, largely defensively aided. He hit for power and manned his position well, and walked more than we're used to. His poor average pulled him down, but he was a 3.6 WAR player. Chase Utley gets a similar for his play, as his glove was still solid enough, and his overall stat-line good enough for a 4.1 WAR. My only beef with his season was a serious dip in power, and a bad second half. Ryan Howard gets a controversial D-, in which we overlook his 95 RBI's because he had many opportunities to drive in runs, and was still a .223 hitter in the end of the season. He can't run and can barely field, he has to hit better than this. He's pegged as a -0.4 WAR player, and that feels generous. Marlon Byrd gets a B- for mashing 25 homers and playing good defense, but would have been higher if he made more contact. His 2.3 WAR season makes him a bit more attractive on the trade market at least. Dom Brown gets an F- for a total dud of a season in which he went for a -1.5 WAR, nearly erasing his 1.7 WAR from last year (and putting him back negative for his career). His .235 average and .634 OPS are absolute garbage, and he's still a bad outfielder. Cody Asche gets a C- for his first full season in the bigs, which might seem a little harsh, but he was a 0.3 WAR player, which is to say very replaceable. His 10 homers keeps him in the C's, as opposed to his .699 OPS. Carlos Ruiz gets a C on the strength of his deceptive 3.2 WAR season, which was almost all defensively driven. He's basically a .700 OPS guy now that is great with pitchers.

The Rotation: C
Well, 2011 they were not. They were the definition of mediocre, and it really did hurt this team. With a bad offense, they needed an A performance. It didn't happen.

Cole Hamels gets an A+ despite his 9-9 record, because he threw 204.2 innings, struck out 198, had a 2.46 ERA, and did this all on a bad team. Don't ask me how his WAR went down to 3.8. Cliff Lee gets a C- that is pretty tough, and mostly driven by his injury and a lack of innings. The Phillies needed more, and while it's not his fault, they didn't get it. His 1.7 WAR feels deceptive. A.J. Burnett gets a C on the dot for being the "replacement pitcher" at one WAR. His MLB leading 18 losses match up with his 200 plus innings. Kyle Kendrick gets a C- for a tough year in which he threw 199 innings and lead the team with 10 wins, but had a 4.61 ERA and posted 0.4 WAR. David Buchanan gets a B- for his rookie season, a year in which he posted a 3.75 ERA and threw 117.2 innings in the big leagues. He posted a 0.6 WAR season. Jerome Williams also gets a B- for his short stay in Philadelphia. In a year he was on three teams, he produced 0.3 WAR. Roberto Hernandez stay in Philadelphia was a positive one, earning him a C though, because in the end he was very average. His WAR for the season was -0.5.

The Bench: F
You pick a bench to hit, unless you're Ruben Amaro Jr., and you're not good at your job.

Wil Nieves surprised me enough to earn a C+, producing 0.3 WAR this season. Tony Gwynn Jr. hit .152this season, so it's no shock he's an F. He somehow is only -1.0 WAR. We said goodbye to old friend John Mayberry Jr. and his .212 average, but he still gets an F, for his 0.2 WAR. Reid Brignac didn't make it through either, with his .222 average and -0.2 WAR combining to get him an F too. Jayson Nix might well have been the worst of them, hitting .120 and posting -1.0 WAR across three teams, good for an F-. Andres Blanco is the unsung hero of the group, hitting .277 and producing a homer on his way to 0.3 WAR, and a C+ from here. Darin Ruf didn't really get chances, but produced 0.4 WAR, and a similar C+. Freddy Galvis also had limited opportunities, but wasn't so good, so he gets an F for his -0.4 WAR season. Ditto for Cesar Hernandez with an F for his -0.5 WAR season.

The Bullpen: B-
The start and the finish were two different worlds. Parsing them out isn't easy.

Jonathan Papelbon was an A on the season, posting a 2.04 ERA on his way to a 39-for-43 season closing games, worth a 1.8 WAR. Ken Giles was even better as an A+ for his 1.18 ERA and 1.7 WAR season. Jake Diekman overcame a slow start to strike out 100 batters and earn a B from me. He needs to work on his command, but his 1.1 WAR suggests he was solid. Justin De Fratus gets an A for his 2.39 ERA and 0.5 WAR on the season. Mike Adams gets an injury-riddled C for which he pitched much better (2.89 ERA), but wasn't on the field. He had 0.3 WAR. Antonio Bastardo earns a surprising C+ from me on the strength of finishing below a four ERA (3.94) and being a 0.7 WAR guy. Mario Hollands pitched very well for a while, then kinda hit a wall, but ends up as a C- for an overall 4.40 ERA. He was a -0.1 WAR guy. B.J. Rosenberg is an F, producing a -0.7 WAR. I have no idea why I rate Phillippe Aumont, but he and his -0.3 WAR in five games, but he's an F-.

OVERALL- D
The team didn't make the post-season, it didn't reach .500, and it was the same as last year. That's unacceptable, and that's a D. Had they lost 90, I would have went lower, but this tells the story as best as we need.

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