Is This A Playoff Team? Hamels Says Ask Somebody Else

Jimmy RollinsWell, that couldn’t have gone much worse.

A few thoughts on the Phillies following their 3-7 road trip:

  • There is a level of frustration settling into the Phillies’ clubhouse, an amount I haven’t seen in Charlie Manuel‘s nine seasons here. Just read Cliff Lee‘s comments Thursday in Minnesota, or what Cole Hamels told reporters after yesterday’s loss in Colorado. Is this a playoff team? “I’m not going to comment on that one,” Hamels said. “You can ask the other guys that one.” Remember, those comments are being made publicly, which certainly means the apathy/resignation/frustration is worse behind closed doors. That is troubling. I remember in seasons past, somebody like Jayson Werth would say confidently and almost nonchalantly, “Relax, everybody. We’re fine. We’re much better than this. We’ll pick it up when we need to pick it up.” They knew they would. You don’t hear that talk right now.
  • The Phillies are 25th in baseball in runs per game. They are 24th in ERA. In seasons past, the Phillies always had one thing going for it: a great offense or a great pitching staff. You could always say, “Well, if they add a bat (Hunter Pence) or if they add an arm (Lee or Roy Oswalt) at the trade deadline it could push them over the top.” You can’t say that with this team. There are too many holes. Where would you even start?
  • Look at where the Phillies rank in OPS at every position. Catcher: 23rd at .651. First base: 17th at .763. Second base: 20th at .671. Third base: 13th at .727. Shortstop: Ninth at .747. Left field: second at .876. Center field: 27th at .616. Right field: 23rd at .691. Second base would be better if Chase Utley had remained healthy, but other than that the only two positions holding their own against the best in baseball are left field (Domonic Brown) and shortstop (Jimmy Rollins).
  • If you say, well, the Phillies are only 8 1/2 games back in the NL East (I’m not sure why anybody would say that, but still …), remember the NL East is probably the worst division in baseball.
  • Looking for a reason to keep the faith? That’s tough, but I guess if you’re going to hold onto something hold onto this: Manuel’s teams traditionally are much better in the second half (.610 winning percentage after the All-Star break from 2005-12 is second-best in baseball). Of course, if they keep playing like this they could be buried in the standings and some of their top players could be traded by July 31. That traditional second-half surge might not matter.
  • Take a look at the upcoming free agent class at MLB Trade Rumors. I don’t see a lot of guys that could help the Phillies turn around their fortunes quickly.  Is there anybody that gets you excited enough to say, “I’d be OK if the Phillies shelled out a ton of cash for him?” There is Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury and that’s about it as far as high on-base percentage bats the Phillies could use. (Forget about Robinson Cano. I can’t believe the Yankees will let him sign elsewhere.)

20 Comments

This team needs to stop kidding itself and sell. Trade Ruiz, Utley, Young…basically anyone on an expiring contract. They NEED to get younger. They NEED to let the kids in the minors and on the roster play, like they did with Dom Brown this season.
We have alot of great young pitching in the minors. Let’s see it.
Infuse Howard, Rollins, Brown, Revere, Hamels, Lee & Papelbon with Joseph, Gavis, Asche, Ruf, Cloyd & Biddle. Not to mention any players we could get in a trade at the deadline. a fully-healthy Utley would bring a nice package for a desparate team. We need to see what we have. We can’t kid ourselves any longer.
Finally, RAJ has had long enough to prove he just can’t cut it as a GM. We need a young enthusiastc forward-thinker who understands talent and a team’s true needs.

Hate to say it but you have an excellent point.

i agree with you marlon. this is an OLD team going nowhere. it is time to unload these old men starting with howard, utley and rollins, nothing personal, but the greatest athletes that have ever played no when it is time to move on. as far as AMARO goes, he has made a mess out this organization with the insane contracts he gave to howard, halladay, etc.

Joseph is on the DL. prior to that, he hit .209 and has a ton of passed balls. Cloyd had his shot. Biddle has given up 11 runs in his last 4 starts (losing 3). Where is Ruf going to play? Asche will have his chance in 2014.
I think they know what they have. There aren’t any answers in the minors.

What will it take to light a spark for this team? Perhaps a dwindling fan base? We’ve seen it happening already. Although I don’t have a problem with that because I actually have a shot to get some good seats, this team needs their fans. I’m one of those diehard fans but you know that that the enthusiasm is at an all time low. So does it seem in the clubhouse. That stinks though and it’s totally unacceptable. If this team can’t show some energy and perseverance, why should their fans? We don’t make any money watching them, no, we give our hard earned money to go down to CBP to contribute towards the cause of them entertaining us by playing a game that we all love. What will it take, really ?

Todd, please feel free to share my comments with the team. Perhaps they need to hear what our thoughts are? It’s time that we voice ours. Lately, it seems we’re getting a defeatist attitude from them. That’s unacceptable.

First off this organization, won’t fire RAJ ! He is a yes man which is what they want or they would have hired guys like Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer and gotten rid of Montgomery along with RAJ. This organization is penny wise , pound foolish and won’t go over luxury tax when it needs too – or draft the right talent !!!

HA HA HA NO NO NO NO NO

I completely agree that Ruben has destroyed this team. He was not thinking of the future (or really thinking at all) when he signed Howard to a contract extension, and when he traded every one of the Phillies prospects who were in the top 100. The Phillies need to clean house,both on and off the field. I think fans can agree that this season has a slim chance of being salvaged. It was fun watching these former All-Stars together, but it is time to think of the future. Here is what I think would be smart.

Pitching: Keep Hamels, Lee to give you two (hopefully) solid starters in a young rotation, keep Cloyd and Pettibone and have them work on their stuff next year in Spring Training, then add an middle of the rotation arm who is in their late 20’s early 30’s (cheap 2 year contract).

IF: Amaro is stuck in a bind with Howard and Rollins. If he trades Utley, and he may be able to get a nice prospect for Rollins, than the Phillies could have a solid young infield. I’d say trade Ruiz. He has had his peak year, and if we know anything about players who peaked (2008 Lidge, 2006-2008 Howard) after that peak it all goes downhill, and Ruiz is already showing signs of regression across the board. I’d say invite Joseph to spring training, as well as sign a more experienced catcher for a mid-range contract (Gattis?) who could possibly help Joesph develop, and could help the young pitching staff. Have Asche and Frandsen rotate 3rd base, as well as have Galvis rotate with Frandsen (when Frandsen is not playing 3rd). I would talk to Micheal Young this year and see if he would be willing to resign as a bench player, if not than trade him for some prospects. 1st Base,unfortunately has to be manned by Howard, and no one will take the lucrative contract that he has (unless the Phillies eat most of the contract which completely defeats the purpose). Hopefully in this fire sale coming up the Phillies will get some great talent for 1st base, because they’ll desperately need it.

OF: Revere and Brown our the future of the Phillies outfield. Brown has kicked the door down and bloomed into the player that Phillies fans had hoped he would be when he made his debut. Revere will hopefully work out the kinks in his bat, but I see him as being a real life Willy Mays Hayes (Major League Movie Reference if you didn’t catch that) with his speed, if he can hit bloopers or slow rollers, he’ll get on base, and he’ll steal. Rollins can possibly help him develop that speed in spring training. (Rollins actually use to hussle in games believe it or not.) I don’t like D. Young in RF. I’d say bring Ruf up, or sign a late 20’s early 30’s veteran (for a small contract of course) who could man RF if Ruf doesn;t seem like he is ready following this season.

Bullpen: The bullpen needs to go completely, I don;t like anyone but Adams (on the fence), Papelbon, and Diekman. Throw Kendrick back in the bullpen, he is a solid long guy, which with these young pitchers, the Phillies need a guy who can go 2 or 3 innings. In the fire sale the Phillies may be able to get some fresh arms for AAA, and bring up some guys for development. Thats really the only thing the Phillies can do for their terrible bullpen.

Coaching Staff: I love Manuel, i really do, he has done so much to try to work with what he has, but the Phillies are going to need a manager who has worked with young players and who plays a different game of baseball. Ryne Sandberg. We need new base coaches, a new bullpen coach, and a new hitting coach. I think Dubee will do really well handling the young talent that comes in.to the starting rotation with the help of the Triple A coaches.

Front Office: Ruben Amaro Jr, Get out. The Phillies need a guy like Gillick, or as a previous comment said, a young forward thinker who is willing to use numbers, and his brain to move a new young Phillies team forward. That is the only way they will be successful going forward,

Moves that will be made this offseason?
-Prospects and Developement. (Every position)
-A late 20’s catcher (Gattis?)
-An experiecned RF to help the young outfield
-A small contract to a solid middle of the rotation pitcher
-Throw Kendrick in the Bullpen
-Experienced Bench players
-Clear house (Players, Coaching Staff, Front Office)

Was I supposed to read that entire comment? I don’t have that kind of stamina. Try Twitter.

I’m only going to answer the question posed: “No”. And it wasn’t last year either. Doubtful it will be next year. But I’m hopeful this season will make the team more willing to make tough choices this offseason and that the team next year will at least not be borderline embarrassing.

You didn’t say it but the Phillies need to start with firing their skipper before the ship completely sinks. He is asleep at the wheel, on the verge of a mutiny, and has no ability to motivate or inspire. Ruben’s loyalty to his failing captain is both puzzling and outrageous. FIRE CHARLIE NOW!

Phils need a new nucleus. Trading Lee, Pabelbon, and Utley (hopefully if he comes back healthy and produces before the deadline) is the only possible solution. Phils have too many holes to fill right now. The Cardinals are as good a trading partner as you’re gonna see. They’re stocked with a great farm system but have pitching that’s a bit too young and a closer, who’s normally a set up guy. (Mujica, defying gravity) Phils should be looking at guys like Oscar Taveras and Kolten Wong. Eat alot of salary in the deal and plug 2 major holes – OF and 2b for years to come.

The Cards will not move either of those players in a trade. And I just don’t see the Phils trading two of their most popular players with years left on their deals.

out here in vegas joe blanton is the laughing stock of just about every sport room in the city.whenever he pitches it is like super bowl sunday with betters getting in line to bet against the angels. fat joe has made life so fantaastic for me, i paid off the mortgage on my condo.

Why do reporters continue to ask that question? Everyone knows they aren’t, but it seems like they are trying to trap players into making stupid statements so that they have something to write about.

Hamels sure isn’t doing anything to help the Phillies to get to the playoffs. The fact that he has thrown only 6 shutouts in his almost 8 year career says it all.

Justin Verlander only has 6 shutouts in his career too. So, he isn’t helping his team AT ALL, huh? So, um, what was your point again?

Verlander has more than 1 win on the season.

So it’s the pitchers fault he isn’t throwing shutouts every time out? NO pitcher, even the great ones, throw shutouts every game. And Verlander has one of the best offenses in the league led by a triple crown winner. Hamels is having a bad year. EVERY pitcher goes through a bad year. It’s baseball. It happens. But even when he strings together very good games this year, no runs are scored in support and he’s getting the loss. It is true what they say how wins/losses shouldn’t be the measure of how good a pitcher is. And all the people who don’t think he’s an ace, I’m sure over half the teams in MLB would take him and he’d be their number 1 in a heartbeat. Also, all this crap about “well, he got his money, he doesn’t care anymore” Good Lord, you people are idiots.

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