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Blog Entry

Is this the year the Phils trade for a hitter?

Posted on: April 20, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 1:36 pm
 
For five straight years, the Phillies have traded for a starting pitcher at midseason.

Is this the July they deal for a hitter?

That depends.

If the last eight games represent what the Phillies really are offensively -- just 23 runs and a .540 team OPS, with only 10 extra-base hits -- then maybe they do. Even before the Phillies lost the first two games of this week's series with the Brewers, manager Charlie Manuel was bemoaning his team's lack of power.

As Manuel pointed out, Ryan Howard is the only true home run threat in the lineup right now. As one scout following the Phillies said, "The left fielder [Raul Ibanez] isn't the same guy, and right now the shortstop [Jimmy Rollins] isn't the same guy."

So they need help? Again, that depends.

It depends on whether Chase Utley can come back -- it seems now that he will, although Phillies people say Utley's condition seems to vary by the day -- and more than that it depends on whether Utley can hit as he did pre-injury.

"Utley's hit 33 home runs before," Manuel said. "He hits 25-30 home runs [in a regular year]."

That would be huge, because as Manuel said, "We've got some guys who hit 10-15 home runs. I don't know if we have anyone [besides Howard] who hits 25-30."

There are other ways to win, and despite their lack of power, the Phillies went into Wednesday's afternoon game against the Brewers with the second-best record in the National League, at 10-6.

The rotation of aces has pitched pretty much as expected, and will almost certainly keep the Phillies in contention -- at the very least -- until they figure out their offense.

"I think the Dodgers [of the 1960s] used to prove you can win with pitching and defense," Manuel said. "But Maury Wills stole 85 bases a year."

Jimmy Rollins used to steal 40-plus bases for the Phillies. But there are questions about whether Rollins can be that player anymore and, in any case, Manuel now has Rollins batting third, where he has fewer base-stealing opportunities.

Does he need help? Do the Phillies need help?

We'll see.


Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Is this the year the Phils trade for a hitter?




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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 8:39 pm
 

Is this the year the Phils trade for a hitter?



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 3:32 am
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Since: Jun 1, 2010
Posted on: April 21, 2011 9:17 am
 

Is this the year the Phils trade for a hitter?

I think the Phillies have the help they need, they just need to use it.  Domonic Brown is a wildcard, but they have Mayberry who can hit a ton, as well as 20 yr old learning to play outfield in Jon Singleton that is not a stretch for a mid-year call-up.  They dont have "small-ball" speed with aging legs, but maybe Brown and a Michael Martinez type can inject some speed into the lineup.  I could see them making a move for a bench hitter, someone to give them what Stairs did in '08, but I dont see a huge hole to fill that they dont have plans for with the farm (3B - Overbeck, LF - Singleton, RF - Brown, Closer - Aumont) The glaring hole is 2B if Utley cannot return, so heres to hoping they dont fill that hole by calling up Ronnie Belliard from AAA.


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