They are not a World Series contender:
Reason #1 – The offense will continue to flounder
While, yes, the offense can be dangerous if the big name hitters find their stride, the reality is that they just haven’t stepped up all year. The team ranks seventh in the league with a 24.1% strike out rate, they are middle of the pack in OPS (.733) and batting average (.254), and below league average in runs per game at 4.49. When you see the names in this lineup you may think that the homerun power is a given but it just has not come to fruition this year. They have the 10th lowest amount of homeruns hit with 115 and is surrounded by teams such as the White Sox, Brewers and Athletics. Dombrowski showed faith in the offense by not making major additions to the team that many were expecting but they could surely use a shot of something to get them going. Far too often has the offense failed to convert on opportunities presented to themselves or were able to break a game wide open giving the opposing team more chances. If this team doesn’t make a run, chances are the offense failed.
Reason #2 – The Bench
How often in playoff history has a pinch hitter come in and hit the clutch homerun and the clip lives on forever? The bench of the best teams is a dangerous asset that a manager can turn to in late game situations. Whether it be playing the lefty/righty match up with a power hitter or the defensive replacement, the bench plays a huge role in the success of the team. The Phillies were looking for a right-handed power bat during the trade deadline and it was determined by Dombrowski that none were worth the prospect capital to acquire. They did add Rodolfo Castro to act as the defensive utility infielder who can provide some pop from the right side. Will that be enough and is that a big enough upgrade to give Thomson and the Phillies enough firepower on the bench? Jake Cave and Johan Rojas have played admirably and has come up big recently but can they be depended upon in September, October and November? Time will tell but not upgrading the bench and getting the pop they need can come back to bite them as we come down to the final playoff push.
Overall, this team has what it takes to make a deep run in the playoffs. They currently stand in the second Wild Card spot and have been the second-best team in the league since June 1. They will need every facet of their team to step up as the games get tighter and more important.