I am completely aware that the trade deadline is still over two months away. The date is July 31st to be exact and there is still plenty of time for this team to change their plans and let’s be honest there is still plenty of time for this team to change their position in the standings which will change the course of action the front office will take. As of right now though, the Philadelphia Phillies do look like a contender and adding one or two pieces might be able to put this team over the top.
The National League seems to be wide open this year, especially the National League East and the Phillies are well above this year’s expectations. This past Saturday this team actually sat in first place in the division which nobody could have predicted before this season started. Gabe Kapler is doing a fantastic job in the first few months of his managerial career and what is most surprising is that fact this team should get even better as the season progresses.
Early through the season Carlos Santana struggled getting on base and was on the border of being considered a bust by the fans in Philadelphia. His batting average was below the Mendoza line and he seemed to be a huge weakness in the Phillies offense. Carlos has found his swing and his power which has raised his average to .214. Sure that isn’t where his average should be at the end of May, it does however show a huge sign of progress and his confidence is rising on a daily basis. Carlos was not the only Phillies offensive player to struggle as Rhys Hoskins has not lived up to his power surge he showed at the end of last year. Rhys has only six home runs on the year with only a .229 average. This team could easily have the best record in baseball if these two were not struggling at the plate.
The starting pitching has been the strongest aspect of this team but the relief pitching has been the weakest aspect. Hector Neris already has three blown saves and the closer role has been a huge question mark going forward for this team. Last year’s all-star Pat Neshek is still on the disabled list but is expected to come back sometime this week. The addition of an all-star reliever with the emergence of young Seranthony Dominguez should give the Phillies a strong back of the end bullpen. With these two relievers pitching at the highest level the pressure for the starters to go deep in the game becomes irrelevant.
Just imagine without the early struggles where this team could be located in the standings. If their offense and bullpen was clicking along with the starting rotation this team could easily have another 5-10 wins under their collective belts. They might not have enough to compete with the American league teams, if the Phillies can somehow make it to the World Series, but the addition of a quality third starter after Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta would set up a formidable rotation in a best of seven series. Even adding a power hitter to the middle of the lineup to enhance their offense would be a series changer. Two months can change what this team might need but it is evident that they will need something to compete. The organization should not let an opportunity to compete pass by and they should make a huge splash come the end of July.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Philadelphia Phillies article is published fill out our email notification form.