Will the Phillies be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?
The second half certainly looks bleak for Philadelphia, but if you're looking for a silver lining, you can consider that these injuries happened with ample time before the trade deadline, which is July 31. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will have about two weeks to talk to teams and make some deals that could benefit the Phillies in the future. But will the Phillies decide to be sellers at the trade deadline?
Last season, the Phillies faced a similarly difficult path to the playoffs - as a matter of fact, it was even more difficult. On July 31, the 2012 Phillies boasted a record of 46-57. They deemed themselves sellers at the trade deadline, shipping off Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, and Joe Blanton. However, the team turned it on in the second half, finishing the season with an 81-81 record, seven games back from a wild card spot. Amaro was left wondering if he made a huge mistake by giving up on his squad earlier in the year.
Now with a .500 record, Amaro may still feel like his team can make a push for the playoffs. Ghosts of 2012 may be telling him not to give up, and that if he does he'll face another offseason of regret. Rumor has it that Amaro is in search of an outfielder and relief pitcher on the trade market, suggesting that he may be a buyer at the trade deadline.
The Phillies, however, simply don't have the look of a playoff-caliber team. They already lost their second best run producer in Howard, as well as the team-leader in average and steals, Revere. They've got an injury-prone Chase Utley, a floundering Jimmy Rollins, and a 36-year-old Michael Young. Outside of the sensational young Domonic Brown, their lineup is unimpressive. As for the pitching rotation, Cliff Lee has been the only impressive starter thus far in the season.