Monday, July 25, 2011

Phils win 9th Straight Series, Trade Rumors

The Phillies have been on fire, securing their ninth straight series victory with a 5-3 win over the Padres yesterday. They'll try for the four-game sweep with Cliff Lee on the mound this afternoon.

Unfortunately for the Phils, the Braves have been hot and right on their heels for a good month or so. Yes, 3.5 games isn't exactly right on their heels, but you got the sense that if the Phils started to struggle a bit, the Braves were in position to pounce. The Phils are starting to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the NL East of late, moving six games ahead of the second place Braves after Atlanta dropped last night's game to the Reds on Sunday Night Baseball. The Fightins' are 13-5 in July with some tough opponents (San Francisco, Pittsburgh) ahead to close out the month.

Roy Halladay made his first start after leaving the mound in Chicago due to heat exhaustion, and he bounced back strong. Doc wasn't dominant at the start, but he only grew stronger as the game wore on. Halladay picked up his 12th win of the year by tossing eight innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits, one walk and eight strikeouts. He retired the last ten batters he faced before being removed for Antonio Bastardo who picked up his eighth save a day after a very shaky performance. Doc joined Cole Hamels and Jair Jurrjens with 12 victories to lead the National League.

No news on the trade front yet. Carlos Beltran reportedly has informed the Mets that he would only like to be traded within the National League, and only to a first place team. Atlanta falling back in the NL East race recently may hurt their chances of acquiring Beltran.

It was rumored that Vance Worley would be centered around any deal the Phils put in place for Hunter Pence of Houston. One word: Don't Do It!

Pence would look great with the Phils, I'd much prefer him to Beltran, but the Phils can't keep trading away their young pitching. Their starting rotation is tremendous, but the only good, young pitchers are Hamels and Worley. They've already traded J.A. Happ, who is having a bad year for the Astros but was tremendous with the Phils, for an old pitcher who is struggling to stay healthy. While you always have to give to receive, Houston doesn't have that much need for  Major League ready talent anyway. They're in no position to be considered a legitimate contender in the next few years. Ruben Amaro Jr. and Ed Wade have made several swaps in the past. Wade is familiar with the Phillies' farm system, and if Amaro pushed hard enough, he may be able to pry Pence away from the Stros' without the big league roster taking a hit. Worley is just too valuable.

No comments:

Post a Comment