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June 07, 2016

Recap: Phillies chat with Ryan Lawrence

Phillies MLB Draft
060616_ruanhoward_AP Chris Szagola/AP

Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard, right, looks on while sitting with Maikel Franco, left, as they both are not in the starting line-up during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, June 1, 2016, in Philadelphia.

The 2016 Phillies season is now more than two months old and the team's spirited play, while still resulting in far more competitive games than in the last two seasons, has been caught up to by the team's overall talent level.

MORE ON THE PHILLIES: Nola sharp, offense explodes as Phillies take series finale from Brewers, 8-1 | Report: Beer bottle thrown at Phillies' Ryan Howard | Could offensive help from the farm arrive to Phillies in the next month? | Inside the Ryan Howard drama: Wednesday's benching offered clarity for future

One of baseball's surprise team's six weeks into the season, the Phillies are coming back down to a level many expected them to be in this summer as a rebuilding team. The feel-good story of their early success (within reach of first place less than 3 weeks ago) has been replaced by storylines that we all expected to surface when the season began.

Will Ryan Howard become a permanent member of the team's bench? Does it make any sense to release him if that happens? Who is the idiot who threw a beer bottle at him and is it possible there are more idiots on the interwebs defending said idiot? Who will the Phillies select with the first overall pick in Thursday's MLB Draft? What are the factors that could come into play in making that pick? Is it possible they could draft a future star in the second round, too?

PhillyVoice Phillies beat writer Ryan Lawrence answers those questions (and more) today at noon.