Which direction with RAJ move the Phils?
The Philadelphia Phillies have garnered mixed reviews from fans and experts regarding their offseason moves.
As the Baseball Winter Meetings come to an end, the Phillies are still left with unanswered questions.
Let’s review the latest offseason moves.
The Phillies sent starting pitcher Vance Worley and minor-league pitcher Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for the young center fielder Ben Revere. I doubt anyone saw this move coming.
These two moves by Ruben Amaro Jr. are polar opposites.
One suggests that the team is saving money and investing for the future of the organization, while the other hints that the team is holding on to a “World Series or Bust” mentality.
Or maybe Amaro is simply trying to achieve both.
Whatever the case may be, the team is not ready to accomplish its main priority—win a championship.
The Phillies still lack a power hitter at a corner outfield spot, and are now down a starting pitcher.
So what are the Phillies’ next moves? Or to elaborate, will it take pitching or hitting to win?
When the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, the team was ranked sixth in overall team pitching (based on ERA) and seventh in team batting (based on OPS), per ESPN.com. It’s nice to be in the upper echelon of both major categories.
In 2009, the club lost the World Series, but was ranked eighth in team pitching and sixth in batting, per ESPN.com. The two stats held parity, and were in the upper tier of the league, resulting in the club’s World Series contention.
Now, let’s look at last season. The Phillies ranked 11th in team pitching, with a respectable 3.83 ERA, and the team batting dropped to 16th, per ESPN.com. These middle of the road statistics will not cut it for the team, or for the fans.
If the Michael Young deal holds true, the Phillies will have answered questions about center field and third base.
Both Revere and Young have the potential to increase team batting stats and score runs for starting pitchers—a crucial problem last season. Additionally, both come relatively inexpensive.
The Phillies now need to find another starting pitcher and setup man. This should be the club’s main priority. Starters such as Joe Saunders, Jair Jurrjens or Shaun Marcum are still available, just to name a few.
Philadelphia currently has three solid starters—who are quite possibly the best threesome in the league—but will need a fourth. Kyle Kendrick can sufficiently serve as a fifth starter.
The club also has the need for a quality setup man. While the Phillies did attempt to acquire Wilton Lopez early in the offseason, the trade was soon squashed. Suitable relief pitchers are available via trade or the free-agent market, and the Phillies should act now.
Defense and pitching win championships. This ideal has remained through many years, and will forever remain a constant in baseball.
The Phillies are setting up their offensive roster, whether you favor the moves or not.
Adding some key arms in 2013 will increase Philadelphia's chances of another championship run.