The Phillies have an offensive deficiency, trailing only the Braves for the undesired title of 'worst scoring team in baseball.'

Perhaps a shake up is necessary. At first base, the Phillies are deficient woefully deficient. 

Their first basemen Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf have combined to hit at a .174 clip, by far the worst in the majors and well below the National League average of .256. Manager Pete Mackanin's intended platoon is not working.

Howard has contributed seven home runs and his high salary and experience level makes him all but immovable. But Ruf, who is pushing 30-years-old and has been struggling all season, could be the roster casualty.  

Tommy Joseph could be the future at first. He's hit .368 in Triple-A, the best in the International League, and is also a leader in several other offensive categories. He is 24-years-old and has been in the Phillies' minor league system for over 500 at-bats worth of plate work after coming to the team from the Giants in the Hunter Pence trade.

The youth infusion needs to continue. And why would the Phillies look to add a bat on the trade market to help them keep pace in the playoff race when they have a red-hot bat already in the organization?

“Well, you know, just like a lot of other players that’s been discussed,” Mackanin said on SportsRadio WIP Wednesday. “So, we haven’t overlooked that. It’s a potential option. I won’t say yes, I won’t say no, but we have definitely discussed more than that. He’s one of the discussions.”

A move sooner rather than later would be appropriate, as a potential immediate call up would give Joseph (a converted catcher) a chance to work on getting his defense up to speed against the lowly Braves and Reds before playing the Marlins and Braves again -- a relatively easy stretch of games.

After that, it's the Tigers, Cubs and Nationals in succession (with a designated hitter needed for three games). And you can bet -- if they don't act soon -- they'll be itching for reinforcements after facing those top-notch foes.