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Charlie Manuel questions whether Phillies can make run

Jun 23, 2013, 11:20 PM EDT

Charlie Manuel Getty Images

After wrapping up one of the most frustrating homestands in recent memory with an 8-0 drubbing at the hands of the New York Mets, Charlie Manuel said he questions his team’s ability to put it together for a second-half surge. Via CSN Philly’s John Gonzalez:

But what if the team further decomposes during the road trip? It’s hard to imagine the Phillies grabbing new pieces if they don’t peek their head above .500 and keep it there for a while. If you have your doubts about their ability to do that, you have some company.

Does Manuel question whether these Phillies can go on a run?

“I wonder if we can do that,” Manuel admitted. “Yes.”

This afternoon’s eight-run loss moved the Phillies’ run differential to -58, the second-worst in the National League and third-worst in all of baseball behind the Marlins (-90) and Astros (-96). They are only four games under .500, but their expected record based on run differential pegs them at 12 games below .500 at 32-44. In other words, the Phillies are fortunate to even be where they are, and shouldn’t expect their current level of play to keep them within arm’s reach of contention going forward.

With a barren Minor League system and a host of veterans eligible for free agency after the season, it is looking unavoidable that the Phillies go into the deadline as sellers. If they do, they will do so for the first time since 2006, when they traded away franchise cornerstone Bobby Abreu to the New York Yankees.

  1. anthonyverna - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    It’s amazing to this Philly fan that anyone thought a team with so many veterans with chronic injuries or on the wrong side of their careers would be able to be filled in with a light-hitting CF a platoon in RF, and a past-his-prime 3B. The team just isn’t good enough anymore.

    • dcfan4life - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Is it time to offload their big contracts? The Braves, Nats, and Mets are all much younger and should all have opportunities to contend in years to come. The Phillies might need to make drastic moves to prepare for seasons to come or continue to disappoint.

  2. theskinsman - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    Manuel is as knowledgeable as they come, and if he says he wonders…they’re toast.

  3. scotttheskeptic - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    Wow, Charlie is beginning to drop his guard. Perhaps Eskin got to him.
    On a more analytical note, who, exactly, do the Phils sell. Rollins has 10-5 rights. Howard has a ridiculous contract. That leaves Utley (who should be playing 1st base to save his knees, IMO), Lee, Papelbon, and, perhaps Hamels.

    • greymares - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      stop it ! if they keep Lee, Papelbon and Hamels they have 3 of the top 6 players needed to put together a pitching staff (pitching is still 75% of the game) using them to build an offense sets them back 5-6 years. I prefer to use the new T.V. money and BUY an offense over the next few years.

      • paperlions - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:13 AM

        Yes, but 1) Who are you gonna buy? Generally, the FA classes have been poor ones as teams now lock up most young players through their age 30 season….and most of those guys are looking for both too much money and too many years, leading to horrible deals, and 2) Do you really trust RAJ to be the one to “buy an offense”?

    • paperlions - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      Yep, they really don’t have much to sell. Players with contracts larger than teams would be willing to dish out if they were FAs generally don’t bring back a lot in prospects unless you pick up an appreciable amount of the remaining contracts (teams just don’t pay twice for aging players anymore, they’ll generally pay in $$ or prospects, but not both). Even if they made fantastic trades from a value perspective, the lack of quality talent in their upper minors makes it unlikely they’ll be competitive for at least a couple of years.

      The longer they deny the need to rebuild, the fewer assets they’ll have to trade and the longer the rebuild will take. Plus, the new draft and international signing rules make it harder to turn a system around quickly….and RAJ hasn’t exactly shown the necessary skills to give one confidence in a rebuilding project.

      • flamethrower101 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        I blame this one on the owners. If the owners are just sitting back and letting RAJ talk his way out of a rebuild when the Phillies are desperately in need of one, it’s their fault. They need to dismiss him and replace him with someone at least half the competence of an average GM.

  4. therealtrenches - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    If they’re smart, they’ll be sellers. In other words, don’t count on it.

  5. mustbechris - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    RIP Corey Lidle

  6. Jonny 5 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    The fact that they have only 3 bullpen pcs that are pitching well enough to pat on the back, as well as a team who can’t score runs. I’d say Charlie would be correct in thinking that. I’d also say he has some work to do himself with some of his questionable in game moves (or lack of) that I believe have cost the team wins on more than a few occasions. I love Charlie Manuel, he seems like a great guy, but it is what it is.

    I honestly think this team lacks that fire in their belly (yes I used a tired baseball idiom) needed to play above their heads. I also felt that Carlos Zambrano would be a detriment to any team that places him on their roster. I take that back now. I think Carlos and his energy may be just what the doctor ordered to help light some of those fires back up. They are already playing abysmal baseball so I think there is more to gain bringing him up than there is to lose at this point. So what does the all knowing Zeus do at this juncture?

    And I’d say he’d be just about spot on.

  7. scotttheskeptic - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    paper, of course I trust him to do so. And I have all 30 Media Guides from 2008 to assist him in his decision-making.

  8. realgone2 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

  9. fissels - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    It’s hard to manage when guys don’t hit.

  10. drunkenhooliganism - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Everybody keeps saying they have to sell, but who’s going to trade with them? Utley is the most tradeable asset, but most contending teams don’t need a 2nd basemen (except Baltimore who should make pitching their priority). And will RAJ really be able to get a prospect better than the compensation pick the Phillies will get if they just keep him until the end of the year (keeping in mind that if he’s traded, the new team no longer gets a compensatory pick).

    Trading Papelbon makes the most sense to me because his awful contract is made less awful as time passes, and a few teams should be desperate for a closer.

    Lee makes a lot of money and Ruben has already screwed up a Lee trade. I don’t see Hamels being traded, too much money and too many years left on his contract to get any value for him.

    No one wants Howard.

    Ruiz would make a lot of sense to trade if he can get healthy and put a few good weeks together.

  11. tvguy22 - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Thanks for a great run, Cholly. But it’s time to move on now. Turn the page, start a new era, just like the Eagles.

  12. jargon1682 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    “If they do, they will do so for the first time since 2006, when they traded away franchise cornerstone Bobby Abreu to the New York Yankees.”

    What was dealing Pence and Victorino just last year?

  13. psunick - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    If they’re playing .474 ball, but their run differential says they should be at around .430, isn’t that a credit to he manager?

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