The fire sale has begun in Philadelphia. They dealt Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals a few days before the trade deadline. Cole Hamels will be next. But that is not a bad thing for Phillies fans.
They need to rebuild and start over. There is no reason to keep aging stars like Papelbon, Hamels, Chase Utley or Ryan Howard if you’re losing with them. This is not just one down year either. The Phillies have been out of contention for a long time now.
Looking back at the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies schedule, this year’s Phillies had a franchise record 62 losses at the All-Star Break. So whatever or whoever they dump now, no sense complaining about it if you’re a Phils fan.
Hamels did give the fans one more thrill when he no-hit the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last Saturday. That’s a nice way to be remembered. The Phillies got a 22 year-old pitcher, Nick Pivetta, from Washington for Papelbon. He is a AA pitcher right now, so the fans will have to wait a bit on that one.
Hamels should get them a decent haul. He is one of the top starters in the game and just went out and proved what he can do last Saturday. He has had a problem with giving up the home run ball this season at times. Perhaps if he can get into a playoff race he will concentrate a bit more and he will pitch up to his usual standards.
Oddly, there seems to be no buzz around Utley or Howard at all. Perhaps these two do not want to leave Philadelphia, but that would seem strange considering the team is going to have to rebuild. They’ve been losing for four years already; one would think these guys would welcome a trade to a contender.
Graphic via imglop
Neither of them has performed particularly well this season. Maybe nobody wants them. Utley has been bothered by an injured ankle but was hitting below the Mendoza line in 65 games. He was hitting .179 with only four homers. Howard however does have 18 homers and 53 RBIs. Somebody should be able to find a use for a good left handed power hitter.
Oddly enough, the Phillies have been red hot since the All-Star Break. They’ve lost only one game since they came back with those 62 losses. They swept Miami in a three game series, took two of three from Tampa Bay, Swept three from the Cubs and beat the Toronto Blue Jays right after trading Papelbon.
Looking at the Philadelphia Phillies schedule for August, the Phils can play spoiler when the Los Angeles Dodgers come in August 4-6, the Jays come in the 18th and 19th, and the New York Mets come in for four games the 24th-27th.
Looking at the Philadelphia Phillies schedule for September, they have the Mets on the road August 31 through September 2 and the 29th, 30th and October 1st at home, the Cubs September 10-13, the Nationals September 14-16 at home and 25-27 on the road.
The Phils are currently only 4.5 games in back of the Miami Marlins who they still play 10 more times. They can still get out of the cellar in the National League East. Of course with Hamels gone, that will make it a bit harder.
Other things to keep watching the Phils to see would be whether or not they can have a .300 hitter this season in Ben Revere. He is at .299 right now. Also, how well will young pitcher Aaron Nola do the rest of the way? He is the only Phillie with a loss since the Break, and that was a 1-0 loss to the Rays. He is 1-1 with 12 strikeouts to only three walks so far.
Graphic via rantsports