(43-46, 7½ games back, NL East)
The Phils, who started a pivotal 10-game homestand by winning two of three from the division-leading Braves over the weekend, now play four against the Nationals, the other team they are chasing in the East.
One scout says, “They can’t get back in it with that bullpen,” but the Phillies will not concede easily. And even if they do sell, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. reiterated to me Friday that he is not inclined to trade pieces who could be part of the club’s future, specifically mentioning left-handers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, closer Jonathan Papelbon and second baseman Chase Utley.
The Phillies’ bullpen ranks last in the NL with a 4.58 ERA, prompting Amaro to say, “If we make a run, that’s the area we have to improve.” For now, Amaro insists that he is staying open-minded on all fronts — and that counter to the perception of some, “I’m not a stubborn guy.” — Ken Rosenthal
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Courtesy of FOXSports.comThe opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.