Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Things They Must Do to Stay on Top of the NL East

Jason AmareldCorrespondent IIJune 24, 2011

Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Things They Must Do to Stay on Top of the NL East

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    As the trade deadline approaches Ruben Amaro Jr. and Charlie Manuel have a lot to talk about in regards to there bullpen and corner outfielders.

    The Atlanta Braves are only four games back and show no signs of slowing down.

    The Phillies have several players in the minor leagues who can help the bullpen like Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus.

    A corner outfielder is imperative, the bottom of the Phillies has been absolutely terrible and a change is imminent. None have the players they currently have are helping the team win games.

    It is time for Ruben Amaro to shake things up in Philadelphia.

Bring Up Justin De Fratus

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    With the struggles of Danys Baez and the recent injuries to Roy Oswalt and Jose Contreras the Phillies need another right handed arm they can rely on because Kyle Kendrick will likely move into the starting rotation.

    Justin De Fratus is the answer to fill that void. So far in 2011 Justin is 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA and 47 K's in 37.2 IP. He has the strike out ability the Phillies bullpen needs.

    De Fratus has been banged up a bit in his first two appearances in Lehigh Valley, but once he settles down he could be headed to Philadelphia sooner than later.

Release or Trade Danys Baez

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    Danys Baez has been terrible since the day he put on a Phillies uniform.

    In 26 games so far this season Baes has a 5.51 ERA, which is the worst ERA on the entire Phillies staff. He also has a 1-3 record and a blown save.

    In the 32.2 innings he has pitched so far this season, he has given up 38 hits, 20 earned runs, hit three batters and walked another 12 on top of that.

    Just awful.

    Baez may be one of the worst relief pitching signing in the history of the franchise, I can not believe he makes $2.75 million.

    Danys must go and the Phillies can replace him with Justin De Fratus or Phillippe Aumont.

Move a Large Salary.

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    Whether it is Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt or Raul Ibanez they Philadelphia Phillies have well over $40 million doing a whole bunch of nothing in the 2011 season.

    Of course in any deal they may make, the Phillies will have to eat the majority of these players remaining salary. Just remember a penny saved is a penny earned. Any money they can elevate from their payroll will help the team address their offensive struggles.

    Can the Phillies move any of these players? That remains to be seen, but hopefully Ruben can work his magic and help move one of his overpaid, low production players.

Place Domonic Brown Back in Triple-A

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    Domonic Brown is currently batting .200 with four HR, 11 RBI and .277 OBP. That is just not going to cut it for a team who wants to compete long into October.

    Brown is clearly not ready to hit major league pitching, he has a very long swing and major league pitchers are exposing he weaknesses.

    Domonic in not helping the Phillies win games and could use some much needed work in Lehigh Valley.

    Look for Brown to be hitting under .200 by the end of the weekend, the Oakland Athletics have the lowest team ERA in the American League at 3.22.

Trade for Michael Cuddyer

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    Michael Cuddyer is the answer to the Phillies right-handed outfielder problems. He can also play third base, second base and first base.

    Michael is currently batting .291 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI. An enormous upgrade to the production they are receiving from anyone they put in right field.

    Michael also has a lot of post season experience playing in six ALDS and one ALCS.

    Cuddyer may be a temporary fix, but if the Phillies wish to make a deep October run they must make a move for a big right handed bat, who can play the outfield.

    Also, look for his RBI and HR total to jump when he gets the majority of his AB in Citizens Bank Park.

    Bring Michael Cuddyer to Philadelphia.


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