|Photo by Richard Wilkins Jr.|
Ryne Sandberg says he wants to see the rotation get some help this off-season. Sandberg is also saying he wants the catching situation set, and better outfield defense.
Add these up a minute:
- The pitching staff is very murky. Lee and Hamels are great. After that? Halladay looks like a complete wild card at this point, heading into free agency. His command is nowhere, even though he seems healthy, and his velocity is gone. Kendrick's performance was poor, he's hurt, and his price tag is too high for what you get. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez hasn't thrown a pitch yet, Pettibone is a question mark, Cloyd isn't doing well, Adam Morgan is shut down until December, and Jesse Biddle isn't ready.
- Sandberg wants to settle the catching situation.
- Sandberg wants another outfielder.
- Maikel Franco moved to first base at the end of the season.
- Sandberg seems to imply some needs can be filled in-house- could he be speaking about Diekman, Rosenberg, De Fratus, and Martin?
- Expect AT LEAST one of Kendrick and Halladay to be left to go, if not both, and for the Phillies to look at some free agent starting pitchers who would be really solid at #2 or #3. Think Bartolo Colon, A.J. Burnett, Ricky Nolasco, and Matt Garza, if they want to pay a little more, or think Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum, and Edinson Volquez, if they want to get risky. I would like to see them take a run at Garza and Colon, particularly because Colon won't require a long contract. Also don't rule out them looking to trade for help here, as they might get a better deal.
- Carlos Ruiz will be back, signed quickly.
- Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury won't happen, nor do they need to. Darin Ruf's 14 homers suggest he can at least take a role similar to John Mayberry Jr.'s, if not more. I'm watching Rajai Davis, Jeff Francoeur, and others of that ilk. My guess is that they will be a righty, and Bernadina survives, because Ruf won't be playing outfield as much against lefties. Why?
- Ryan Howard is never going to get 600 plate appearances in Philadelphia again. Ruf will take some of the lefties on next season, and Franco probably ends up here in two years full-time. Either the Phillies have grown tired of Howard's issues with approach, or they know his injuries will persist, or both.
- They won't be as hyper active in the relief market as we all think. I'd love to see them make a run at a closer-capable set-up man, like say Joel Hanrahan (if healthy), Octavio Dotel, Frank Francisco (again, if healthy), or someone who at least seems durable and reliable (to be read, not another Adams-esque risk).