Philadelphia Phillies: What Happens if they Trade Jeremy Hellickson?

Jul 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) pitches against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) pitches against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

At this point it looks like when will the Philadelphia Phillies will trade Jeremy Hellickson than “will they trade him”

Currently, the Philadelphia Phillies are in “advanced talks” with the Miami Marlins on a Hellickson trade. Reports have stated that the Phillies are currently scouting the Marlins Gulf Coast league team to figure out who they would want in return.

These are the most concrete rumors that have surrounded any of the Phillies’ trade chips and it seems plausible with the Marlins gearing up for a playoff push. The Marlins were also in town to see Hellickson dominate their own team over eight innings. But how would trading Jeremy Hellickson effect the Philadelphia Phillies as the season progresses?

Hellickson has been an innings eater for the Phillies pitching a 119.2 innings, which is second to only Jerad Eickoff who has pitched an even 120. The next highest Phillie on the list is Aaron Nola who has pitched 106 innings. So removing his innings from the rotation the first unit that would be affected is the bullpen. Long man, Brett Oberholtzer would be thrust into more games and the middle relievers would be pushed to their limits as a result.

More from Philadelphia Phillies

For a bullpen that has already been taxed on the season, this could be cause for an implosion unless Pete Mackanin decides to have a floating spot for a player with options to come up and provide a fresh arm. Looking at the organization’s bullpen depth outside of the already promoted Edubray Ramos this could be a cause for some ugly stat lines.

The bullpen won’t be the only unit to be taxed, though, the starting rotation would also take on a new dynamic. If there is an opening in the rotation, Jake Thompson would be the logical call-up candidate due to his absolute dominance at the Triple-A level so far this season. That would give the Philadelphia Phillies five pitchers under 25 and with young starters, something that usually comes into play are innings limits.

Usually, a team doesn’t want a pitcher to throw more that 30 percent more innings than they did in the season prior to avoid getting a  dead arm and other pitching injuries. Adding Thompson to the fold would put the rotation in a state  where two pitchers are entering their first full seasons in the majors, two are rookies that need to be protected and one has injury issues that will cause his workload to be monitored. This would tie Pete Mackanin‘s hands once the season rolls into September and pitchers need to be shut down.

One option is to possibly go with a six-man rotation to spread out their starts and limit innings that way. The Philadelphia Phillies could do that by promoting Ben Lively to the majors to give all of their young starters a shot at the same time. Lively has been solid over the course of the season having pitched to an ERA of 3.86 since his promotion to Triple-A.

That could be the most proactive solution but one that would be more likely for the Philadelphia Phillies could be to see Adam Morgan return to the majors or David Buchanan could get another shot with the big league squad. Since they aren’t true prospects the Phillies would be less concerned with jerking them around to make a six-man rotation work.

Next: Is it a Good Idea to Trade Cameron Rupp?

Trading Jeremy Hellickson would leave an obvious hole in the Philadelphia Phillies’ rotation but if the right prospect is offered in return the team should go for it. When we profiled this trade one prospect that stood out is  J.T. Riddle who is playing shortstop in their system but is a natural second baseman. He could be of value to the Phillies in the future with their lack of second base prospects in the farm system.

It would take creativity to fill the void left by Hellickson’s departure but I have faith that Pete Mackanin would be able to roll with it while putting his players in the best position’s possible.