Jul 9, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo (59) delivers to the plate during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

TBOH Midseason Free-for-all, Episode 4: “The bullpen has given me ulcers…or maybe I’m just hungry.”

We’ve been here before – one, two, three times.

But baseball is not quite back yet, so here is Ethan Seidel (@yearinbaseball) taking a crack at envisioning the future. And getting a headache and a bloody nose. 

It’s gross.

Jul 14, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown (9) hits a two RBI double during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies are .500 at the break. This makes me (choose one): Confused/angry/pleasantly surprised/pleasantly confused/hungry

All of the above. They looked like a .500 team coming out of spring training, but I held onto the crazy belief they could still take home the division. Brown has been awesome, but the bullpen has given me ulcers…or maybe I’m just hungry.

“Ruben Amaro will find a suitable replacement for center field.” Is this a true belief, or something muttered over and over again by someone rocking back forth in the dark?

True belief. His decisions don’t always make sense, but Ruben knows they have to get a center fielder. Whomever the Phils do get to roam center field we’ll all be rocking back and forth muttering about the prospects he gave away

The most exciting thing about Phillies baseball in the near future:

It has to be “Downtown” Dom Brown. Brown’s emergence as an all-star has put all the doubters back in there depressing little caves, and even vindicated Rube for refusing to trade him.

The most unwatchable portion of Phillies baseball in the near future:

The bullpen. There hasn’t been one reliable pitcher to come out the pen all season. Everyone has shown flashes of dominance, only to crumble a night later. Mike Adams was a bust, and Paps has been shaky after a strong start. I don’t see any moves on the horizon that will make the relief any more reliable.

The bullpen will get (choose one) better/worse/depressed/hungry

Worse (see above). I know this team always plays better in the 2nd half, so I could be proven wrong… but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Charlie Manuel’s job security – stronger than ever, like Utley’s knees, or weakened and fragile, like Ben Revere’s foot bone?

Chawlie’s job has got shaky knees and a broken bone in his foot. The only way he’s managing the Phillies is if he can get the club back into the postseason. Given everything that has happened this season that would be a major feat. More likely, this lame duck manager sings his swan song and travels to greener pastures after the year is up.

Ruben Amaro will do (choose one) something/everything/nothing and it will be (choose one) brilliant/terrible/emotionally exhausting

Ruben will do nothing, and it will be emotionally exhausting. Exhausting for the fans and the players. It’s amazing that Cliff Lee is able to filter out every new trade rumor while pitching like a Cy Young award winner. The rumor mill will keep churning, and RAJ and co. will look to make improvements, but being caught in the middle of buy/sell mode doesn’t give me much hope for improvements. What you see is what you’ll get folks.

NL East: Braves

NL Central: Cardinals

NL West: Diamondbacks

NL Wild Cards: Dodgers, Pirates

Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; National League first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) of the Atlanta Braves looks on during the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw

NL ROY: Matt Harvey

AL East: Rays

AL Central: Tigers

AL West: Athletics

AL Wild Cards: Red Sox, Orioles

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera

AL Cy Young: Max Scherzer

AL ROY: Will Myers

Tags: Midseason Review Philadelphia Phillies