By Sally Fahey
The Phillies are back on the winning track with their 5-1 victory over the Padres last night in San Diego.
So they are back in first place by a game over the Atlanta Braves, which lost.
But the Phils’ offseason signing of Carlos Santana hasn’t exactly panned out.
As the New York Times points out:
Through Wednesday’s games, Santana was the only qualified hitter in the majors with more than 80 walks and fewer than 70 strikeouts. Batters are striking out at higher rates than ever this season, but Santana seems immune to the trend.
“Every time I look up there and see his walk rate is way more than his strikeout rate, I think, how can I be like that?” Nick Williams, the Phillies’ right fielder, said. “That is incredible. And then he’s still able to hit for damage.”
Santana had 17 home runs through Wednesday to go with a .356 on-base percentage and 87 walks, compared to just 69 strikeouts.
His .219 batting average was second lowest in the National League, to Atlanta’s Adam Duvall, and bad luck may be a part of the reason: Santana had a .220 average on balls in play, well below the major league average of .295.