Sorry for my long absence. School + band = little time to blog. But now it's summer and I am watching all the Phillies games, and I am getting sick. The Phillies are something like 4 for their last 39 with RISP. They have lost 4 winnable games in a row largely because of this failure. They are worst in the majors with scoring runs with a runner on 3rd and less than two outs. I am writing this blog post to propose some possible solutions:
1. Ride it out. It is still May. The Philies are still right around .500. The Big 3 are still healthy and the bullpen is starting to pick it up. Things are bound to pick up sooner or later and as long as the Phillies can keep around .500, they will easily be able to vault up the standings.
2. Fire Greg Gross. The situation the Phillies are in currently reminds me of when the Phillies fired Milt Thompson. Nobody was hitting, the Phillies were doing poorly, and the team needed a scapegoat. Considering that the Phillies were supposed to come into this season with an entirely new approach to hitting, firing Greg Gross might be a good idea anyway. Even disregarding the Phillies utter failure in situational hitting, the Phillies have still lacked patience at the plate. Plus, the Milt Thompson, Greg Gross caravan hasn't exactly been successful the last few years anyway. I propose bringing in a big name from outside the organization. Or maybe Ryne Sandberg could be promoted internally. Or how's this for an idea: Make Sarge the hitting coach, move Wheeler to radio, and bring Larry Anderson to the TV booth. Win, win, win.
3. Call up Dom Brown. Brown is finally off the disabled list. He is 24 years old and his prospect status (and therefore his trade value) are probably as low as they have been since we first heard this guy existed. Why bring him up now? Maybe what this guy needs is a vote of confidence. Bring him up and start him everyday in left field. Yes, I know Juan Pierre then ends up on the bench, but I think we can all get over that one. Put Mayberry at 1st full time for now and make Pierre the 4th OF. Stick Dom in the middle of the lineup and hope that he can provide a spark for the team. At this point, even with his shoddy defense, the Phils have little to lose.
4. Trade Cole Hamels for a bat. Now that Vance Worley will be forced to pitch hurt all year, the Phillies might balk at dealing any of their pitching, but dealing Hamels, as much as I don't want to, might be the only solution that can work for the offense. With Halladay and Lee at the top of the rotation, and Worley, Blanton, and Kendrick at the bottom, this rotation is till well above average, even without Hamels. Halladay and Lee and continuing to age, and sinking additional money into the rotation could prove to doom this team in the long-run. Right now, the Phillies don't even know if they can resign Hamels, and his value on the trade market is astronomical. What to do? Trade Hamels for a young, impact 3rd base bat and prospects. Shift Peanut Head to a super-utility role. Drastic? Yes. Potentially season saving? Yes.