The fifth spot in the rotation must be settled
The thinnest area on the team is undoubtedly the starting rotation. This is not uniquely a Phillies' problem as many teams around baseball are short on starting pitching depth, but it is up to the Phillies to figure out who they will send to the mound every fifth day.
The Phillies' rotation has struggled in general to begin the season, but there have been some positive signs from pitchers like Zack Wheeler and even Taijuan Walker in their last few starts. Aaron Nola has not been himself, but it is likely he will adjust and even out at some point.
Losing Andrew Painter early on forced the Phillies to use Bailey Falter as their fifth starter to begin the season. Falter had a decent 2022 season but did not have the same success in 2023 and he was optioned to Triple-A earlier in the month of May. The club claimed Dylan Covey off waivers a few weeks ago and he had a solid appearance in Philadelphia against the Diamondbacks but had a rough outing on Sunday night in Atlanta. He is likely not a reliable option in the long-term.
There are not really many enticing options in the minor leagues that would make an impact or are fully ready to pitch in the big leagues. Griff McGarry has made a few rehab appearances after beginning the season on the injured list and has shown that he may be the prospect closest to making his Phillies debut. He is still building up his arm and needs some command consistency, but it would not be surprising if the Phillies gave him a shot if they are unable to find a reliable fifth arm in the rotation.
The Phillies are far from being out of the division. A hot streak or two over the summer could help propel them to within a few games of the Braves. They also still have a sizeable number of games remaining against the NL East as they have only played two series against their own division to this point. They will require more consistency and rely on the health of their players to help them get to within reach of a second consecutive postseason appearance.