July 17, 2019
The Phillies' dramatic 9-8 win over the Dodgers on Tuesday night shouldn't be enough to mask the fact that this team, as currently constructed, might just not have enough to make the postseason, let alone make a deep run.
After losing to Los Angeles in embarrassing fashion on Monday, 16-2, the Phils got out to an early 6-1 lead, only to see that evaporate quickly over the middle innings, and ultimately disappear entirely in the top of the ninth, as the Dodgers got to Hector Neris and took a 8-6 lead.
Sure, Bryce Harper delivered a walkoff double in the bottom of the ninth, off one of the best closers in the game, but winning games in that fashion is simply not sustainable. And, over the past few weeks (going on months) the Phillies have looked all too often like that team that lost by a pair of touchdowns, not the team that can erase ninth-inning deficits.
So where does that leave the Phillies heading into the MLB trade deadline? With just two weeks left to make a deal, the team is in a tough spot. They spent and spent and then spent some more this offseason, so throwing in the towel now, which is essentially what they would be doing by standing pat at the deadline, likely won't go over well. That being said, neither would selling off the farm, which is what they would need to do in order to get all the pieces they need, only to lose in a one-game wild card playoff.
The division lead doesn't seem to within the teams grasp at the moment, as they still trail the Braves by 8.5 games, and being aggressive at the deadline just doesn't make sense for a wildcard team with this many holes.
That being said, Matt Klentak, who reportedly signed a three-year extension prior to the season, had a few surprises in store this offseason, so maybe he's got another one (or two or three) stored u; there for the deadline.
If the recent round of MLB power rankings tell us anything, it's that the Phillies should be careful. There are quite a few teams playing better baseball. Like, half the league.
Let's see where they stand...
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|14 (+1)||I really wonder about losing Andrew McCutchen, relating to how the Phillies have been bad since shortly after the injury.|
|14 (--)||Gabe Kapler could be on the hot seat if things don't turn around.|
|16 (+1)||At some point, the Phillies will likely either promote or trade outfielder Nick Williams, as he is proving to be too good for Triple-A. Williams recently finished off a 24-game hitting streak, having hit .422 and slugged .733 in that time, for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Williams hit 17 home runs for the 2018 Phillies, but he has struggled in erratic playing time in the majors this season. He is not a center fielder, so where does he fit in? It might have to be with another organization.|
|14 (-2)||Aaron Nola has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball over the last four weeks -- 0.76 ERA, 43 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings dating back to June 16 -- but the rest of the rotation has struggled and the bullpen remains littered with injuries. If the Phillies are going to make it to the playoffs, it's an absolute must that they acquire some pitching help before the July 31 trade deadline.|
[NOTE: Some of these rankings may have come out a day or two ago, and may not be taking the most recent game(s) into account.]