Wednesday, August 28, 2013

With Charlie fired, what is the plan for next year?

First of all, forget the interim tag on Sandberg. He will be back. The young guys on the roster (and maybe some of the vets too!) should consider this a tryout for 2014.
2014 is not lost. The Phillies have potentially good pitching, though with a lot of ifs (if Halladay comes back improved, and if anyone can, he can), plus Hamels, Lee, Gonzalez, the Cuban defector, (if they actually finalize the signing, and Kendrick back to #5 (He's a pretty good 5, not so good a 3). Additionally, I'd resign Lannan as the swingman/sixth starter. As for their Achilles heel, the bullpen, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are jobs available, and young, strong arms to fill them, it depends who wants to take them (Diekman and DeFratus seem to be making their moves right now).
If the Phils can work in the young guys with the high priced vets, giving the older players some rest and developing the younger guys for full time roles down the road it could be a return to the good times. Rollins is still a good shortstop (with Galvis), especially if Sandberg can keep him playing hard.  Utley and more Hernandez at 2nd, Asche and Maybe Franco at 3rd, and Howard/Ruf at 1st, plus Chooch as a part time starter while mentoring the winner of the Joseph/Rupp/Valle competition next spring.  In other words I think the best bet is to hope at least some of the stars can still play, but start working in the youth, maybe add in an outfielder if possible via free agency, plus a bullpen piece or two and they could be right back in the mix.
The outlook is workable, if still peppered with ifs, but definitely workable.

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