The MLB trade deadline is nine days away, and a majority of the discussion surrounding the Philadelphia Phillies has been in regards to two positions: bullpen and center field.
For what it’s worth, both positions unquestionably need to be upgraded moving forward. The Phillies still own one of the worst bullpens in the league, and their CF position has been a bit of a revolving door since the season began. Odubel Herrera and Travis Jankowski have both provided spurts of production at times, but neither should be viewed as longterm starters.
Byron Buxton and Starling Marte have been named as possible trade targets at the position.
When it comes to the bullpen, the closer position is the main role that needs to be filled. Hector Neris blew six saves before being relieved of full-time closing duties, with Jose Alvarado not performing much better as Neris’ first replacement. Lefty Ranger Suarez has looked decent in the role over the past few weeks, but would be far better suited for a long-man type of role, where he’s able to stretch out over 2-3 innings of work once or twice a week.
With all of that said, one area of the Phillies roster that has somewhat gone under the radar in terms of needing to be upgraded is that of the starting rotation. With the team currently employing a five-man rotation that contains both Vince Velasquez and Matt Moore, it’s not too hard to paint the picture of it needing to be improved upon.
If they want to seriously make a run at winning the NL East, the Philadelphia Phillies need to add a staring pitcher.
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At first glance, many would make the argument that the Philadelphia Phillies rotation has been one of their biggest strengths this season – which is partially true.
The Phillies starting pitching fWAR of 8.9 currently ranks seventh best in all of baseball, but over half of that production has come from Zack Wheeler (4.6 fWAR), with the other 48.3% coming from Aaron Nola (2.2) and Zach Eflin (2.1).
Vince Velasquez has equated for 0.2 fWAR due to his solid stretch of games back in May, which is primarily being offset by the likes of Chase Anderson’s negative total. Matt Moore has an fWAR of 0.0.
It’s also worth mentioning that Eflin was recently placed on the injured list, and he does have a not-so-pretty history of struggling to remain consistent as the season progresses (2019, for example).