Now that it's practically safe to say the Philadelphia Phillies are out of any sort of playoff race, what may ensue between now and the end of the season is a series of positional tryouts, per se.
After the Phillies traded Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants, two of the team's starting outfield spots instantly became free for the taking. Add in Joe Blanton being sent to the Dodgers in a waiver trade, and yet another hole opened up on the Phillies' roster.
In the light of the team's recent transactions, the Phillies are essentially holding a positional tryout. There's currently a center field, right field, and starting pitching job up for grabs, with third base and left field also likely to see new faces next season.
Players like former top prospect Domonic Brown, recently-acquired Nate Schierholtz, longtime swingman Kyle Kendrick and recently-promoted Kevin Frandsen are being used to fill the holes in the lineup...for now.
When free agency hits, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. will have to take each of the aforementioned players' post-trade deadline play into account and must determine whether he has to make any free-agent signings or trades to turn the Phillies into a contender once again.
But what about prospects? Granted, the Phillies' farm system has been thinned due to acquisitions made over the last few years. And while the Phillies were sellers this year after being buyers in years past, their farm system still remains bleak even with the acquisitions of prospects Tommy Joseph and Ethan Martin, and minor leaguer Seth Rosin.
But there are a few bright spots in the Phillies' minor leagues, including some who could impact the big league club sooner rather than later. They will also be granted tryouts this year, either sometime later this month or as a September call-up when rosters expand from 25 players to 40.
Here's a look at five of those prospects who could make a nice impression in a major league tryout this year and work their way into a future starting job. And just so you know, no relievers will be listed in this slideshow, as this is about prospects playing their way into starting roles. Since bullpen pitchers do not start unless they're named Raul Valdes, they will be excluded from this slideshow.
*All prospect rankings are courtesy of 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook unless otherwise noted.