Philly Sports Live

Week 15 in Review

The Phillies beat the Braves & Nats last week to position themselves to go on a run.

Week 15 in Review

The Phillies 2013 season rested heavily on seven games they played against the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals last week and weekend before. They were given a golden opportunity to make up ground against their division foes before the All-Star break.

All season long, this team has constantly played up to, and down to their opponents. The past 10 games have been the “up to”, as the Phillies won each series against division leading Atlanta, the Nats and the Pittsburgh Pirates, baseball’s best team.

They now sit just a half game behind the Nationals in the National League East, but still 7.5 games behind Atlanta.

A key contributor to the team’s 7-3 record the last 10 games has been Ben Revere. After a somewhat slow start, Revere is hitting at a .422 clip with six runs batted in and two stolen bases. Unfortunately for Charlie Manuel, his leadoff hitter took fouled a ball hard off his right foot yesterday against the White Sox and broke it.

He was placed on the disabled list yesterday and will be evaluated by a specialist on Monday. Catcher Erik Kratz, who finished up his rehab this weekend, was called up to take Revere’s spot on the roster.

The only frustrating thing about the last three series is that, very easily, the Phils could have swept the Buccos, Braves & Nats and gained three games total on the Braves if not more. Instead, they settled for two out of three and gained only one game.

Still, they maintained their place in the standings in the hopes of making a run after the trade deadline.

Speaking of which, the question has been asked since early last month. Will the Phillies be buyers or sellers and the deadline? The answer could be both.

Michael Young was signed to a one year deal this offseason, and to his credit, the 37 year old infielder has hit .292 this season with 96 hits and 28 RBI. He would be very attractive to a team seeking an infielder or designated hitter with some pop. He would also be a good option off the bench.

A team like the Yankees could be interested in his services. This would then allow the team to call up Cody Asche or Freddy Galvis from Triple-A, adding by subtracting in effect.

However, if things go south between now and then, names like Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon and Carlos Ruiz have been thrown around as names that could go. The most likely of which is Papelbon, because let’s face it, if they’re not competitive, what good is it to pay a closer the big bucks who has no real purpose on the club?

The Detroit Tigers would be a great fit for Paps. The Tigers tried bringing Jose Valverde back this year to fill their void in the ninth inning. It did not work out. Papelbon would be a Godsend for them. In return, the Phillies could seek Tiger’s prospect Nick Castellanos. In 97 games with Triple-A Toledo, the 21 year old outfielder is hitting .282 with 12 home runs, 49 RBI and 61 runs scored.

The Phillies need more pop and youth in the outfield and Castellanos would be a good addition. Again, they could add by subtracting. Perhaps Bastardo steps into the closer’s role, and they get help in the outfield. With a deal for Michael Young as well, it would pave the way for a youth movement while also keeping the team in contention.

Moving and shaking aside, the team managed a split of a double header yesterday against the last place Chicago White Sox, with a chance to win their fourth straight series before the All-Star break this afternoon.

After leaving their mark on the Braves and Nationals last week, there is no reason why they can’t take down the White Sox today, and hold their own against everyone else from here on out to make their move.

Only one thing all year has kept them from doing so on a regular basis…themselves.

Stats Courtesy of Phillies.com & Tigers.com

Photo Courtesy of CSNPhilly.com

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