Everyone knew the Phillies were going to be lousy this year. Just how lousy? Well, when Freddy Galvis is your leading hitter then Rock Bottom must be just around the corner.
But wait! Most folks figured at least the Phils would be competitive every fifth day when Cole Hamels took the mound. So yesterday, less than a week after his best start of the season, Hamels was shellacked by Miami, losing 7-0. Can't blame this one on lack of run support, Cole. Hamels gave up a major league worst eighth home run of the season and in the process surely must have given some pause to the alleged legion of suitors out there waiting to bid for his services.
So, how bad are the Phils? There only hope for this season, trading Hamels for legitimate prospects, continues to take its own special hit. We aren't suggesting the Phils will be forced to give Hamels away, but a few more starts like yesterday's and his value will be affected. The only good news is that when teams are desperate to acquire that last piece to get them over the hump (read: into the post-season), they don't mind over-paying. Indeed, they can't help themselves. That's the MLB way.
The Phils' offense is the worst in the majors and no matter who is on the mound they might be hard-pressed to beat the NCAA champs, aluminum bats notwithstanding. It wouldn't surprise me if Chase Utley announced his retirement at the end of the season. He is a proud guy who must be suffering terribly as his batting average flirts with .100. The Phils will unload Ryan Howard before the end of the season and will eat almost all of his huge contract. Some major league team, probably in the American League, is going to want his bat even if it's worth one or two wins. Carlos Ruiz will fade away after this season. Jeff Franceour and Grady Sizemore will be released as soon as the Phils can find two warm bodies to take their place in the outfield. You see, it is still a requirement to put nine men on the diamond. Dom Brown will presumably be one of those replacements, but after his umpteenth demotion to AAA one has to wonder for how long.
Meanwhile, Cody Asche is working out in left-field in anticipation of the call-up of Maikel Franco, so that's another potential "outfielder".
These guys are a mess. Guys playing out of position. Ruinous contracts burning cash. Player skills eroding before our very eyes. Attendance records for smallest crowd in the history of Citizens Bank Park being set weekly.
Does Stub Hub have a give-away section? Would there be any takers?