At 22-15, the Phillies have been among the standings’ biggest surprises this season, but rookie general manager Matt Klentak isn’t losing sight of the fact that the team is in a rebuild, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Klentak also realizes that the Phillies have one of the majors’ worst run differentials and probably won’t be able to sustain their early success in the win column. “We’re not blind to the fact that our run differential is negative by a significant margin,” he said. “We’re well aware that there has been a lack of offensive production throughout much of the lineup.” Only the Braves’ historically anemic offense has been worse than Philadelphia’s thus far, but the good news on the offensive end is that the Phillies have seemingly found an enviable long-term piece in 24-year-old center fielder Odubel Herrera.
More from the National League:
- The Dodgers were considering promoting 19-year-old prospect Julio Urias to bolster their bullpen as of last weekend, and the left-handed phenom’s stock has risen even higher since. Urias fired six scoreless innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday, extending his streak to 22 straight frames without allowing a run, according to Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America. Urias is laying waste to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, where he has a 1.25 ERA and 39 strikeouts against eight walks in 36 innings, and looks primed to jump to baseball’s highest level soon.
- Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes is still capable of being a “serviceable” option at the position, though he’s clearly on the downside of his career, a longtime scout told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Reyes, who’s suspended until the end of May because of a violation of the league’s domestic violence policy, could be done in Colorado. A trade might be difficult, though, considering Reyes’ contract (he’s still owed roughly $41MM, including a $4MM buyout in 2018), off-field troubles and on-field decline, according to Saunders. That could lead the Rockies to release the 33-year-old, which is a possibility, some close to the team have told Saunders.
- The Cardinals have taken a tough-love approach with pitching prospect Alex Reyes – who’s nearing a return from a 50-game suspension for a second positive marijuana test – as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details. The Cardinals could have lifted Reyes’ 50-game ban at any point by putting him on their 40-man roster, but they elected against it and didn’t even invite the right-handed 21-year-old to Spring Training. “There are two things for him to take from this,” stated general manager John Mozeliak. “No. 1, he made a mistake and cannot make that mistake again. No. 2, because of this mistake he has to realize he was risking a lot because of what he can do with his talent. Time will tell the direction this sends him.” Reyes seems to have taken the discipline to heart, saying, “That day, I changed my mentality.”