Something about the Phillies being on the West Coast makes them losing more tolerable. Maybe it’s getting to see great players like Mike Trout and Buster Posey, who we don’t necessarily see on a regular basis. Maybe it’s the allure of a beautiful Summer night at a stadium like Angel Stadium or AT&T Park. Whatever it is, it feels like baseball on the west coast, we haven’t even mentioned the A’s or Dodgers, is the best it gets in 2014. If it isn’t, you certainly won’t find the answer in Philadelphia.
The Phillies have reached a point where there are just about no players worth watching offensively. Chase Utley has had a hall of fame caliber career, and is only a couple of months removed from being an All-Star, but he certainly isn’t the overly exciting, dynamic player he was in his prime. Ryan Howard is done. Jimmy Rollins might not be done, but since the All-Star break he’s looked a lot more like that than a player who still has some really good years left in his bat.
Pitching wise? Cole Hamels has become must-watch dominant this year, but the rest of the rotation is an abysmal mess, and doesn’t figure to get much better over the next year or two. In the bullpen, Ken Giles and Jake Diekman excite you for the future, but with the unlikeability of Jonathan Papelbon still likely to wear a Phillies uniform for 13 more months, that only goes so far.
The Phillies need a shot in the arm. It doesn’t look like they are going to get one.
A few weeks ago, our own Somers Price made a case that the Phillies should enter the bidding war for Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Just prior to the trade deadline, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported that the Phillies had held a private workout session with the 27 year-old. But according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Phillies aren’t expected to be one of the ‘major players’ for Castillo.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) August 15, 2014
It’s worth mentioning that Sherman didn’t rule the Phillies out-he didn’t mention them at all-but considering that the Phillies seem to be a team that insiders like the discuss right now, largely because they are puzzled by the team’s downfall, this doesn’t bode well for anyone hoping that the Phillies would pursue Castillo.
Scouts had projected Castillo to be three things that the Phillies need. One) a right-handed hitter (obvious), two) a right-handed hitter with power, and three) a center fielding with decent range, and better ability to track the ball and throw it than Ben Revere.
If the Phillies feel like he is being overvalued and isn’t worth the attention he is receiving, that’s fine. What isn’t fine is their seeming ignorance in the past to Cuban, and all international, free-agents. See, Yasiel Puig, Aroldis Chapman and Yoenis Cespedes.
Update: Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi has put the Phillies back into the running for Rusney Castillo. Read more here.