The Philadelphia Phillies have fell on hard times as of late. They are struggling to stay at a .500 record, the bullpen problems continue and the offense is not producing. With that being said, they are 6.5 games out of first place and only one game behind the Washington Nationals for second place.
The big question is, will they be able to get back to their 2008 and 2009 World Series form? From what I’ve witnessed this season the answer is no. Here are some reasons why I don’t believe they will regain their World Series form. Ryan Howard has been the staple of the Phillies line up for the past several years and he is not producing. He is not hitting the homeruns and knocking in runs like the old Ryan use to. His swing looks awful. He can’t catch up to a fastball and can’t stay back on the curve. Ryan and the rest of the Phillies line up are just not getting it done this yesr.
As far as starting pitching goes, a lot of the Phillies success this year was going to be based on the big 3 (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels). Roy Halladay went down and may never be the same after surgery. Cole Hamels is having trouble keeping runs off the board. The only positive has been Cliff Lee who is the running for National League Cy Young Award. The fact that Halladay and Hamels have not preformed up to expectations this year has significantly affected the Phillies record.
How could we forget the bullpen? Like last year, the bullpen is filled with “trial by error” guys from AAA Lehigh Valley. This weekend it’ll be Jake Diekman’s turn. The only staple in the bullpen is the Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. The tough part is getting to him with a lead.
So what should be done? The front office will wait about a month before making a decision whether to buy or sell. Ultimately, the answer will be to sell. They need to clear out some money and think about the future. They need to trade some big pieces like Ryan Howard, Michael Young, and Jonathan Papelbon. That will clear up some money and allow some young guys like Darin Ruf and Cody Asche to get to play in the majors.