If you’ve been away for the last month, you have missed a bit of a renaissance in Phillies baseball. Since the All-Star Break, the Phillies have compiled a 16-5 record, which is the best in Major League Baseball. If they continue at this rate for the rest of the season, they will actually finish the year above .500. Okay, maybe we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, but this is a complete turn-around from what was going on in the beginning of the season. Can the Phillies compete sooner than we think? Hussain al Nowais offers some thoughts on the Phillies:
In a Grantland article by Jonah Keri posted this week, Keri notes that the Phillies have seen a resurgence with their bats from the kids, which has helped to spur the wins. Odubel Herrera, for example, a guy nobody really thought would do much in the major leagues is hitting for power and legging out in-field singles. Cesar Hernandez is proving to be an adequate replacement so far in the infield for some pretty big names. While he has played for Utley in the past, he is currently at SS as Chase has returned to the lineup, so the Phillies can showcase his bat. Finally, there is Maikel Franco. Franco. Franco is known for his power, but he is getting smarter with his at-bats. He’s walking more and striking out less.
With the Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon trades, the Phillies are clearly in a rebuilding stage. In the next year or two, we should see the exits of Utley, Howard, and Ruiz too, meaning there will be nobody on the 2008 team. Although nostalgia is good, Hussain al Nowais urges Phillies fans to look at the present and future too. There is a lot of young talent on the team right now, and we could see the Phillies back in the driver seat of the NL East before we know it. That’s not to say that Ruben shouldn’t leave. The recent moves are definitely the product of Andy MacPhail and Pat Gillick. Don’t expect Ruben to stay on after this year.