Last year, the Philadelphia Phillies tried so hard and got so far. In the end, it didn’t really matter. Or did it? There is some stock to put into making it to the World Series after a lengthy playoff drought. The 2007 Phillies got over an impossible hump and went on to win the World Series the very next season. Sometimes you need to show up to a dance stag before you can go to one with a date.
We’ll find out for sure how serious the front office is about winning this year by what they do at the trade deadline. Do they go after one of the big fish or do they look to add around what’s already here? Chances are with the current state of the farm system we will see them craft trades around the current roster.
Taking a harsh look at it, these three roster spots could use an upgrade while this other area looks fine as is.
The Phillies roster needs a Cristopher Sánchez upgrade
Cristopher Sánchez has been good for the Phillies but he serves them much better as a sixth starter than someone guaranteed to step on the mound every fifth day. The Phillies went into the year lacking starting pitching depth. They’re going to need more of it to get through the remainder of the 162 and through the postseason. With doubleheaders and maybe an extra day of rest needed for some of the starters, having Sanchez around for the occasional spot start has some value. He is this year’s Bailey Falter.
What killed the Phillies most in last year’s World Series was the lack of trust in starters not named Aaron Nola or Zack Wheeler. Even they were imperfect on the biggest stage.
A healthy Ranger Suarez and the addition of Taijuan Walker will make a difference. Those four should be good enough. The Phillies shouldn’t stand on a “should be” and feel confident.
A significant addition to the starting rotation is something the Phillies should eye while settling for more of a mid-level starter. None of the starting pitchers should be off the table if the price is right. The more playoff experience the guy has, the better.