The Phillies are a piece or two away from their World Series dreams coming true.

Elvis IrwinContributor IJuly 12, 2008

Buyers? Shoppers? NEITHER!

The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. They are in first place in the NL East, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are first and second respectively in home runs. They can run, they can field, and they have a great bullpen.

But they are missing some pieces.

Come this trade deadline, the Phillies probably won't make many moves, if any. They've got a good team that they've spent a long time building up, and they don't want to screw it up. Yet, they don't really have the money or the talent to GO shopping, and what the Phillies need isn't out there.

First thing's first, they need Pitching. Starting pitching. Lots of it! I don't know how the Phillies have lasted this long with Moyer, Kendrick, Hamels, Eaton, Myers and a few minor league call ups in their starting rotation.

Moyer is pitching fine, but he's in his 40s and slow, slower and slowest doesn't ALWAYS fool teams after the All-Star break. Hamels is the future, but he's just not the ace that they need to go the distance.

Adam Eaton has been an inconsistent mistake from the Phillies of old. The Phillies should never draft a player, trade him, watch him fail and then give him lots of money to fail...AGAIN! I still don't know what they were thinking by signing him.

However, I do tip my cap to Brett Myers for taking his demotion like a man and I will say the Kyle Kendrick has been the most consistent of all of the Phillies pitchers that we can see in the Red pinstripes for some time.

Secondly, and honestly lastly, they need a catcher. A REAL catcher.

Carlos Ruiz is good with the pitchers and plays some good defense, but a World Series team doesn't have a catcher hitting .200 anymore. Chris Coste is a great story and he could be the answer with Ruiz for NOW. But if it were up to me, I'd find a catcher that can hit .280, 20 HRs, and 70-80 RBI.

The Phillies will never have the pockets that the Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs have, but they should be able to find the last couple of pieces to their World Series puzzle of hopes and dreams.

As a side note, Pedro Feliz is a fine third baseman, but if the Phils can squeeze a powerhouse there, then forget about it. This team would be a fantasy baseball empire.

There isn't much left on the market as far as pitchers and catchers go this time around. But after they free up some money next year, there will be a totally different story.