The Phillies Trade Deadline To-Do List
Ah, the Philadelphia Phillies. Cant live with em, cant live without em. It’s a sickness really. Without another Philly sports team playing at the moment, we turn to the Phillies, and for what? We all know what the problem is with this ball club; the same it’s been for years now. The bullpen cannot hold onto games. The bullpen isn’t just blowing one or two run leads, it’s been three or more.
We have arrived at the second half of the 2021 MLB season. The Phillies sit in second place in the National League East and 3.5 games behind the New York Mets in first. They are an even .500 at 44-44 and entered the All-Star break playing the best baseball of the season. They have won seven of their last 10 games and finished the first half of the season on a 5-2 road trip, taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox.
The question now remains, are the Phillies buyers or sellers at the end of the month when the MLB trade deadline hits? Today, the team will visit an open throwing session in Texas to figure out if Cole Hamels makes sense to bring on to sure up the back of the rotation. The current top three in the rotation, Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin, would be considered a top tier rotation if the club could just hold onto some wins and we all hope that if the Phillies do make it to the playoffs for the first time in a decade, that having three quality starters will be enough to do some damage.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, the Phillies have some things they need to work on. Here’s the to-do list and some things to think about as the All Star break approaches.
Fix the Bullpen
It’s utterly ridiculous what this bullpen has accomplished thus far this season. Truly mind boggling. The amount of games they’ve blown…no words. Let’s take a good, long look.
In 264.1 innings this year, the Phillies have achieved 22 blown saves, the most in Major League Baseball. They’ve posted a 4.73 ERA, 23rd in the league, and a -.5 fWAR which ranks 28th. The next closest team has blown 16 save and they are only three away from an all-time Phillies’ franchise record. What else is there to say? We sure didn’t think it could get any worse than the previous two years, and somehow it’s the same. Ranger Suarez has pitched well, but has also blown some saves like everyone else in the bullpen. I don’t know where the organization finds these guys, but it’s time to look elsewhere.
Fix the Defense
The Phillies defense has left fans inconsolable for the first half of the season. The corner infielders, Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm, have been abysmal on the diamond for the Phillies. In the beginning, I figured this problem would work itself out as they would both get a ton of reps since they’re needed in the lineup for their bats.
Well needless to say it it did not work out. Rhys Hoskins is ranked 85 out of 85 first basemen who have played .1 innings or more this year defensively. Alec Bohm is not much better. There have been plenty of other mishaps that don’t show up on the stat sheet. The defense needs to be sorted out, but is far from the Phillies’ biggest problems.
Be Buyers at the Deadline
The Phillies are an interesting team on paper. With a lineup like they one they’ve got, it can definitely generate interest from teams who are actually capable of making a run.
According to Power Rankings Guru, The Phillies have played the third hardest schedule over the first half of the season. They have also played the most difficult schedule among teams that are .500 or better so far this year. After the All-Star break, the Phillies will have the easiest schedule in Major League Baseball to close out the season. Focusing on just games before the Trade Deadline, the Phillies will play 14 games, 12 of which will be at Citizens Bank Park against divisional opponents.
Over the last seven games, the offense has come alive for the Phillies. They averaged 8+ runs per game on their seven game road trip to close out the first half of the season.
If we’re looking at trade pieces, Rhys Hoskins is one that sticks out right away. He would do really well with an AL team. Yes, I know it would be tough to part with your leading RBI and home run guy, but the Phillies need bullpen arms and maybe another starter. With a shot at making the playoffs, you have to be buyers.
As we all know, the Phillies issues are bigger than just a few holes in the bullpen. What they really need is people who can recognize talent. I’m so sick of seeing guys like Spencer Howard, a guy who was supposed to be the next big league ace, burn out after three innings pitched. Yes the Phillies need bullpen arms, but they also need to start playing with some energy on the field. Someone needs to fire up that locker room, whether it’s Girardi or an angry starting pitcher. Figure it out and go on some kind of run.
The second half of the MLB season kicks off for the Phillies today with a doubleheader against the Miami Marlins. Matt Moore and Zach Eflin will be on the mound. Game one first pitch is at 4:05pm. Game two, 7:30pm.
Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris USA Today Sports