Are the Philadelphia Phillies a sleeping giant or a tired team ready to sit this one out? The season is young and as much as it feels like they’re headed in the wrong direction most of the time, the Phillies remain an expected contender at the trade deadline.
Too much has been invested in this ball club to not at least try to repeat the magic of last season and take one step further. They had a successful trade deadline in 2022. Doing it all over again in 2023 is a necessity if they’re going to go further.
The Phillies have some obvious trade deadline needs. Two must be addressed. Another can be easily ignored.
Phillies trade deadline need to address: The starting pitching
Possibly a fatal mistake of the Phillies was to come up short in starting pitching this offseason. Their depth is atrocious for a team hoping to contend. They have zero room for an injury. Bailey Falter should’ve began the season in Triple-A as a sixth starter. He had a much bigger role instead and ever since the Phillies have been trying to patch together a five-man rotation with Matt Strahm getting a lot of starts for them.
Even if Taijuan Walker was pitching effectively on a regular basis, the Phillies would have a glaring hole in their rotation. They’re only four men deep. Something has to be done soon with an even larger upgrade in the works closer to the trade deadline.
Poor starting pitching but more so a limited number of guys available to actually give them innings in last year’s World Series is what cost them most. Yes, the Houston Astros were a tough team to beat regardless. Having a stud number three may not have made much of a difference in the end.
We’ll never know. What we can claim is that if the Phillies want to do anything this year they’re going to need more starting pitching depth and an upgrade.