Thursday, June 19, 2008

Phillies, put in their place by Red Sox, seek pitching help

(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
After leading the Phillies to an impressive victory over the Red Sox in the first game of the series, Cole Hamels suggested that a Red Sox/Phillies World Series is destined to happen. Hamels said that the Phillies could compete with the Red Sox "any day of the week". He should have rephrased that to "any day of the week I am pitching" because the Red Sox won the next two games of the series by getting to Phillie starters Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick early. The Red Sox helped to expose the Phillies biggest weakness, their starting rotation.

After Cole Hamels, there isn't another pitcher that the Phillies can count on with their season on the line. If/when the Phillies make the playoffs this year, can you imagine if they have to turn to Brett Myers or Kyle Kendrick in a Game 7? Yes, the Phillie offense is explosive, but when you get to the playoffs, you will be facing the best pitchers in baseball so those 20 run outbursts won't be happening. The Phillies need a solid number two option or they could be looking at another brisk first round ending to their season.

The Phillies basically have two options: hope Brett Myers turns it around or go out an acquire a number two. Waiting for Myers might be a risky option, but giving up the farm for short-term help would be even riskier. Jayson Stark of ESPN says that the Phillies have looked into the following starting pitching options: C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo, Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard. Stark believes that the price for any of these top pitchers (besides Arroyo) would cost the Phillies their two stud pitching prospects, Carlos Carrasco and Antonio Bastardo. As Stark points out, a deal like that would severely hinder the Phillies' future, so they had better win the World Series this year.

It's a risk that the Phillies may have to take. There is no telling if the team will ever be this healthy and this explosive offensively again, but as the Red Sox have proven, the Phils are clearly short in the starting pitching department. With the possibility of Brad Lidge and Pat Burrell leaving the team after the season, and the rest of the teams in the NL East playing poorly, this could already be the last great chance this team has to bring home a championship. We know that soon-to-be-retiring GM Pat Gillick will do something to try to go out a winner, let's just hope he keeps one eye towards the future when he makes his moves or this could be the last run for the Phillies.


SoxAddict said...

As a Red Sox fan, I was kind of hoping we'd get to see Brett Myers ;X Of course, 2 years ago I never would have said that.

EnriqueFed said...

How the "mighty" have fallen. You guys want him for Coco?