Around the NL East: Phillies in trouble

Around the NL East: Phillies in trouble
May 21, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Atlanta Braves (26-18)

The Braves have turned in four straight wins after sweeping the Dodgers and taking the first of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. They are now 3.5 games ahead of the Nats in the N.L. East as Washington is headed in the other direction with three consecutive losses. Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton have led the way on offense with five RBI each in their last six games. Julio Teheran made two solid starts recently, allowing just three runs through 14 1/3 innings against Minnesota and Arizona.

While they are winning on the field, the Braves were dealt some more bad news regarding their bullpen. Lefty setup man Eric O'Flaherty is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery this afternoon, keeping him out at least a calendar year. They also lost another lefty out of the bullpen in Jonny Venters who had the same procedure last week. Jordan Walden, who would be their next setup option, also remains out with shoulder inflammation. 

Player of the Week: 1B Freddie Freeman - 6 H, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 2 R

Philadelphia Phillies (21-24)

Philly has lost three of their last five games and are starting to see guys go down with injuries left and right. Both catcher Carlos Ruiz (right hamstring strain) and reliever Mike Adams (back strain) were sent to the disabled list this week. Ryan Howard also missed Monday's game after an MRI showed a problem with the meniscus in his left knee. 

A few games under .500 and with injuries mounting, losing 5-1 to the Marlins on Monday night may have tipped several players over the edge. Starter Cole Hamels was reportedly so frustrated he left the Phillies' clubhouse after refusing to speak with reporters. The Phils are starting to really unravel just days before they travel to Washington.

Player of the Weak: SP Cole Hamels - 11.0 IP, 7 ER, 13 H, 2 HR, 2 BB

New York Mets (17-25)

New York dropped four of their six games since we last looked around the division and this week they learned of a setback for catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud. The young backstop with a fractured bone in his left foot was not cleared by doctors to resume baseball activities on Friday and will now need two extra weeks in a walking boot. His timetable to return to play Triple-A games is now mid-June. The team's top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is also on the disabled list, starting a seven-day stint this week for inflammation in the AC joint of his right shoulder.

Former Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel is off to a hot start with the Mets with seven hits and two home runs in his first seven games with the team. He hit one out against the Cardinals on May 15 then another three days later against the Cubs. Ankiel started off well with the Astros this year too, but couldn't sustain the success and was eventually cut by the team.

Player of the Week: OF Rick Ankiel - 7 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, BB

Miami Marlins (13-32)

The Marlins have won two straight and now do not solely own last place in the majors. They beat the Diamondbacks and the aforementioned Phillies, which evidently represented rock bottom for Cole Hamels. These two wins, however, came after seven consecutive losses.

Miami continues to chug along with the worst offense in the majors, they have scored just 122 runs on the year in 45 games. Their pitching, however, has not been terrible. They rank 17th in the majors in team ERA and 17th in homers allowed: not great numbers, but about average. If their offense was anywhere near the middle of the league then maybe they wouldn't be quite as bad.

Player of the Week: SS Adeiny Hechavarria -  8 H, 2 3B, 4 R, SB