Prior to the start of today’s home series against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies, I posed a set of questions to Ethan Seidel, Staff Writer for FanSided network site That Ball’s Outta Here. Here’s what he had to say:
1) With the slashing of some key Phillie cogs by the trade deadline (Victorino, Pence, et.al.), are there some concerns of long-term positioning?
Concerns are abound, but the Phillies do have a plan in mind. A large part of that plan centers around outfielder Dominic Brown. Brown was held back from previous blockbuster trades,but has yet to live up to his once blue-chip status. He’s been good but not great since getting regular playing time,and the Phililes will need him to start showing some pop if their outfield is going to be a strength in 2013. There will be some money to spend in the off-season,but that will likely be spent on center and the bullpen.
(2) Is the pitching “core” of Halladay, Lee, and Hamels going to stay intact beyond the 2012 season into 2013 and beyond?
2013 may very well be the last season of the “Big 3″. Roy Halladay has a vesting option for 2014 but after his injury and struggles on the mound this season that may not be as certain as once thought. Then there is Cliff Lee. Lee has been a disappointment this year,and could be a victim of the team achieving financial flexibility after the season. Hamels is now in tow for the long hall,but his sidekicks are likely to change after the season. Hamels is now in tow for the long hall,but his sidekicks are likely to change after next year.
(3) Are there any calls for Charlie Manuel’s head in this team being a favorite in the NL East and failing to contend this season?
Charlie has been at the center of much of the fans frustrations this year. Missing the playoffs with this roster was hard to fathom so someone has to be blamed. Under different circumstances the manager would get the axe after this level of disappointment,but management has his back. Having won a World Series (1 of 2 in the franchises history) gets you a little bit of good will,but after this year’s tragic season he will be on the hot seat in 2013.
(4) What should we expect to see down the stretch fot the Phillies in 2012? Chances to finish above .500? Speculation on what needs to happen for 2013 to “fix” things?
The team could very well finish .500,but the team is really hosting tryouts for 2013. The bullpen has been flooded with youngsters to show what they’ve got. Phillipe Aumont and Justin De Fratus are two young arms to keep an eye on this month. If they can put up some zeros,they may not have to overpay for a veteran arm after the season.
The outfield and third base are also positions up for grabs. Nat Scheirholtz,Dominic Brown,John Mayberry Jr., and Kevin Frandsen are all the bubble. Frandsen has been a pleasant surprise manning the hot corner,but the Phillies brass will probably seek an upgrade from the veteran journeyman.
(5) Out of curiosity, what kind of “recognition” or media coverage is given to a small-market team like the Reds in a major market like Philadelphia?
Given that football season is upon us,the Phillies and the rest of MLB have taken a backseat to all Eagles related news. If the Phillies were still in the hunt for the pennant the Reds newfound success would get the attention it deserves. Fans and the media are focusing more on Sunday’s season kickoff than the Phillies four game set with the Reds.
Continue this discussion on Twitter with me @JDRentz