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As Phillies reach .500, GM Ruben Amaro looking to address center field and bullpen

Jul 14, 2013, 10:35 PM EDT

Ruben Amaro, Charlie Manuel AP

Though the Phillies, at long last, reached .500 for the first time since June 7, one would think most signs point to the team being sellers at the deadline. Yesterday, they lost center fielder Ben Revere to a broken foot and he will be sidelined for six to eight weeks. They have a few soon-to-be free agents. The Minor League system is still a little light on legitimate talent. They also rank among the bottom-ten in baseball in run differential at -45.

On the subject of improving the roster, GM Ruben Amaro asked rhetorically, “How do I do it? I don’t know. We’ll find out. I’m the GM. I’m supposed to be able to do this stuff I guess.”

Amaro told the media prior to this afternoon’s first-half finale that he is looking for upgrades in center field and in the bullpen. He said, “we’ll probably be looking for a centerfielder if there’s one that’s available. I don’t know if there’s one available or one that will be an upgrade from what we have right now with John [Mayberry] being out there.”

As it turned out, Mayberry helped the Phillies walk off in today’s first-half finale against the White Sox with an RBI single up the middle in the tenth inning. It was the third extra inning game the two teams had played in a 36-hour period. (Per Jayson Stark, it’s the first time all three games of a series went extras since the Athletics and White Sox did it May 11-13, 2011.) The Phillies emerged victorious in two of them and finish the ten-game homestand — which Amaro explicitly was using as a barometer for the team’s buyer or seller status — at 7-3. The Braves lost to the Reds, so the Phillies will enter the first half six games behind in third place.

  1. beerjunkie - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    It’s nice to see the Phillies in this position.

  2. biasedhomer - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Plus with so many games verses the Braves, it almost seems as if the Phillies control their own destiny.

  3. chew1985 - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    It’s a fine tightrope. Amaro can get a lot of young talent in July 31 trades that will be lost if the Phillies go for all the marbles. I believe Revere going down is the last straw, but it is possible to get lucky by relying on Mayberry in center and bringing up Cody Asche to play third. This allows them to go shopping for a very good late inning guy with Michael Young as the bait.

    A little more luck is needed in the bullpen with the young arms but the talent IS there and it’s cheap, so beyond 2013 there is a chance for a quick rebuild if Ruf is reasonably above average with power. Dom Brown IS the real thing; a joy to watch. The new core is forming.

    The only way to be buyers is to do it on the cheap. Otherwise, sell, sell, sell and start the rebuild. Within a few short years they can be back if it is done right. Pat Gillick, mercifully will be on speed dial for a few more years I hope.

    • phillyupperdecker - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      I look to Boston as a team that wen’t 69-93 last season as a good example. You had a team of established stars who under performed and along injuries ended up with one of their worst seasons in club history. A few tweaks and trades by their front office along with players looking at themselves in the mirror and here they are first place in the AL East. If Amaro can make some under the radar moves to fix the bullpen and address the RF situation you could see the Phillies making a credible push for the NL East in 2014.

  4. alexo0 - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    I love false hope.

    • greymares - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      define false hope. WHEN was the last time the best team won the world series ? All you have to do is make the post season tournament, and then pitching and good fortune seem to be the determining factor. The Phillies pitching is as good as most teams. As for making the tournament what have you seen in the Braves and Nats.that make you think they cannot be over taken. Amaro can make this team better by moving Ruiz for the outfielder or the so called bullpen piece. and take a shot with what they have, if it doesn’t get you there you move the roster in the off season but starting pitchers would be off limits for me.

  5. dannythebisforbeast - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Here’s how you do it Rube: Get Ed Wade a job with a franchise deep in prospects. Sell everyone to him, let this go until Wade is fired. Rehire him and repeat this every 5 years or so

    • xmatt0926x - Jul 15, 2013 at 4:25 AM

      We laugh at Wade, but he totally bitch-slapped Amaro in the Pence deal. Kind of odd when you think about it. Wade pretty much had been told by then that he was on his last legs in Houston and he had to know that he was going to be welcomed back into the Phillies family after all those years working for that ownership group, yet he still did his job and spit in Ruben’s eye on that trade. You have to respect that.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        Well….I think you are going a little over the top and assuming Cosart and Singleton will in fact pan out. I am not saying they won’t, but “bitch slap” and “spit in his eye”? I don’t think you can say it that strongly just yet. Remember when Tyler Green was a can’t miss guy? And Pat Combs was described in Sports Illustrated as a guy who would win “multiple Cy Young’s”?

        Besides – you can’t cherry pick, you have to look at the whole body of work. You buy 10 stocks, and if 7 work and three are busts, you are doing well. Looks at who Wade gave up and who the Phillies got overall

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        That’s true, though I think Ed did better in the Pence deal. Didn’t Santana go there? I remember people saying there was some upside with Santana and sorry to see him go.

        If we look at the Oz trade, Ed didn’t do as well there since he got Happ who didn’t perform for Houston and was shipped to Toronto. Villar is still in the system but no word yet on how he will pan out and Gose was shipped to Toronto also for Brett Wallace… who looks extremely pedestrian as a 1B. We don’t get to examine the ramifications of the Happ trade to Toronto, because Wade was gone by then.

        Going back further we have the Lidge trade which for the Phillies was undeniably a win. Ed got Michael Bourne who did great for a number of years. The problem is Houston never rebuilt. Bourne didn’t get a chance to become part of a contending team. Geary didn’t do much and the 3B prospect Constanzo… well he’s with the Nats now… not doing much there either. Of course Wade traded for Bourne as well. But one piece went right back: Jordan Schafer. The other two pieces have been iffy so far as I can tell, so this wasn’t all that good for Wade.

  6. tfbuckfutter - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Marlon Byrd may be available.

    Sounds like a typically solid acquisition for Ruby.

  7. schmedley69 - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    The Phillies are within striking distance. They have made up more ground in a lot less time in ’07, ’08 and ’10. No, they aren’t a great team, but neither are the Braves or Nats.

  8. jimw81 - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    tv interview he did tonight on nbc affiliate, Ruben sounded like he’s buying.

  9. ericcoyle15 - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    last year at the all star break the phillies were 13 games under .500 and this season they are at .500 at the all star break, they must add to this team if they keep winning series like they have been they will put themselves in very good shape to win the division and especially if the braves continue to be injury prone, ruben can not blow up this team when he challenged his team to be successful in this homestand and that is exactly what they did, and last year the phillies had the best record in baseball after the all star break

  10. phillyphannn83 - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Stat posted on TV yesterday said something like the Phillies have the best record in the NL since the start of June or something like that.

    • paperlions - Jul 15, 2013 at 7:57 AM

      On June 1st, Philly was 4 games under .500. They most certainly don’t have the best record in the NL since that date; however they have knocked 1 whole game off of the Braves lead in the standings over that 6 weeks.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        Good morning cranky pants!

        I can’t speak for PhillyPhann83, but I think he meant NL East (that was the stat they showed). And yes. The Phillies made up just one game on the Braves. They played the Barves 3 times. They still have 13 games left with them So they will need to play about 8-5 ball against the Braves and find a way to make up 3 1/2 elsewhere.

        We all know you have fWAR, bp/TAR, lSKAr, and BBIPOTYYUOPW stats to show the Phillies are the anti-chist, so please proceed

      • paperlions - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        I figured that is what he meant. Just pointing out that the Phillies situation right now, isn’t really much (if any) different than it was 6 weeks ago…so…whatever you thought then, there really isn’t much reason to think differently now.

        I do not envy their situation. Deciding to buy or sell at this point considering their record, age, talent, and the need to plan for the future as well…ugh, not an easy decision, for sure.

  11. phillyphannn83 - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Oh and Ben Revere is batting like .430+ since June1, .380+ since May 1, something like that, they said the stats on TV last night. I didn’t write it down.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:00 AM

      His batting average was 354 in June and 388 in July. His OBP was 390 and 388 during those months. He was useful for the last six weeks. Losing Ben Revere is not an excuse for losing even one game.

  12. schuckme - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    going into the first half six games behind braves? im pretty sure it’s the second half they’re going into.. #rookie mistake pal

  13. ordinaryday6 - Jul 15, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    he just oozes confidence.

  14. baseballisboring - Jul 15, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    Phillies think they should be buyers lllllllmmmmmaaaaaaaaoooooooo

  15. dkphilly1122 - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Wasn’t it Singleton that got busted for the marijuana?? 50 games. Cosart is gonna be a decent pitcher over time, but Singleton is ok, his stock dropped off after that trade and now the 50 game suspension for weed. A Bitch slap?? Phillies got Pence for basically Cosart……that is good for an established player. Cosart and Singleton are prospects, not established players. So it isn’t close to Bitch Slapped. Phillies will be fine if they trade Young for a Reliever and bring Asche up. Both the Braves and Nats are playing the same as the Phillies, the Braves just started out hot, now injuries are taking there toll. The funny thing is everyone talks about how old the Phillies are and along with that comes injuries, which might be true, but the Braves and Nats had just as many star players injured this year. They still have a ton of games to battle the NL East out. Phillies are usually one of if not the hottest second half teams in baseball. Hate all you want but the numbers don’t lie.

    • phillyupperdecker - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Jonathan Singleton is a top 25 prospect. He was the real piece they gave up along with Cosart(solid 3/4 starter), Josh Zeid(quality middle reliever ceiling) and Domingo Santana (big OF with a plus power bat) That trade was made to make a push for the World Series and to replace Jayson Werths production in RF.

      I look at the Pence/Singleton trade very similar to the Bourn/Lidge trade. The Phillies identified a need they had to fill to win the WS and pulled the trigger. It worked with Lidge and didn’t work with Pence.

  16. deathmonkey41 - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    If the Phillies are looking for bullpen help, there’s a kid named Chad Durbin out there that might work. They say the third time is the charm!

  17. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 15, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    4 months ago he signed Delmon Young to a 1-year deal and handed the RF job to him before spring training instead of going with Mayberry. Now he’s not sure if he can find a better CF?

    Didn’t the White Sox say most players were available, except Sale and Konerko? Rube saw De Aza have a good weekend vs the Phillies, going 5-11 with 4 XBH’s. Alex Rios should be cheaper because of his contract.

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