Alex Rios and Nelson Cruz were available last offseason but the Phillies decided to go with John Mayberry Jr., Ben Revere and Dom Brown. Only Marlon Byrd is producing for a team that is on track to win only 67 games!

By Art Beitchman, DOCBLOG

It’s hard to watch the Phillies these days.

They just gave up 19 runs in three games while getting swept by the Nationals; their pitching, once thought to be this team’s foundation, is now shaky and injured; and the defense is below-par.

But what really irks me is the lack of power.

It’s been six seasons since Pat Burrell (photo above) played left field, and in that 2008 World Series championship year Pat the Bat smacked 33 home runs and had 86 RBI’s. Then Raul Ibanez took that spot and did a good job — blasting 34 HR’s and knocking in 93 runs for the team that lost in six to the Yanks in the World Series.

But is has been all downhill from there, and the Phillies’ inability to get steady production from that position haunts them to his day. They haven’t been able to score runs consistently for some time now, and what’s the solution — John Mayberry Jr.? Dom Brown? Darin Ruf? No, no and no so far this season, Only a cockeyed optimist would say things will change this season. I say they won’t. You are who you are and it’s time to be realistic. But not the Phillies.

After getting thumped four out of five games by the Mets last weekend and three straight by the Nats (whose Jayson Werth, a former Phil has smacked five HRs with 25 RBIs) , the Phils are 24-34 and in last place in the NL East, seven games behind front-running Atlanta, three behind the Mets and six behind the Nats!

They are on track to win 67 games, even worse than last year’s 73.

The Phils are all jammed on salaries, paying Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard $25 million each — and they are not living up to the money. The bargain basement outfield is the most glaring problem. Marlon Byrd is getting paid $8 million, and he’s holding up his end with nice production the first two months of the season. Phils management calculated incorrectly that Dom Brown ($550,000), Mayberry ($1.5M), and Ben Revere($1.95M) would give them enough production. They have not.

There were two outfielders having real nice seasons that were out there to be had last offseason, Nelson Cruz got $8 million from the Orioles as a free agent, and he’s leading the American League with 20 homers and 52 RBI’s. He would have helped the Phillies’ anemic offense to be sure. Alex Rios got traded to the Rangers. He’s a solid right fielder, batting .320, and has knocked in 29.

Either the Phillies didn’t want these quality players, or couldn’t acquire them, or didn’t know they were available. In either case, that adds up to ineptitude, which adds up to last place in the NL East.




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  1. Scott Cossetti

    Although I was born and bred in Philly and followed the Phillies, I’ve actually been a life-long fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the American League. Therefore, I know a little bit about one, Nelson Cruz. Most recently with the Texas Rangers, he’s always been regarded as an above average outfielder and DH, his stats speak for themselves. A fan favorite as well.

    Then came the suspension relative to PED’s and the clinic in Miami, which he was party to. As a free agent this year, Texas tendered a qualifying offer of 1 year @ 14.1 million dollars. He rejected it and waited. Although he would be “tested” regularly, not a single team stepped up and showed interest. Except the Orioles. One year. 8 million dollars. The dividends are as follows: 21 HRs, 55 RBIs, 42 runs scored, BA of .313. Leads the league in home runs, runs batted in, as well as slugging%, OPS and total bases. A beast.

    Thanks for taking a pass Philadelphia and being asleep at the wheel, Mr. Amaro. Baltimore loves Nellie and hopes to keep him.

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