f this weekend taught the Philadelphia Phillies anything, it’s their problems can’t be solved within a single trade deadline.
Or maybe even two, for that matter.
A dreadful effort against the Atlanta Braves in Philadelphia further highlighted the team’s disarray on the pitcher’s mound. The first two games saw the Phillies allow a whopping 24 runs combined.
The injured Jake Arrieta held on for as long as he could on Friday night, holding the Braves to a single run in four innings before the floodgates opened in the fifth.
It’s certainly unfair to pile on Arrieta, who is pitching with a sizable bone spur in his pitching elbow. Surgery is going to be an option at some point, whether that’s this summer or at the end of the year.
Still, it’s further frustration heaped on a former Cy Young Award winner who has yet to reach his potential since coming over from the Chicago Cubs.
Zach Eflin and his “heavy body” couldn’t make it out of the second inning on Saturday night as he and Ranger Saurez — with the help from some the team’s atrocious defense — allowed 11 runs before recording six outs.
Had the Phillies swept this series, they would have been a slim 2.5 games back of first two days before August. Quite a reasonable deficit to overcome.
Instead, the Braves single-handedly muted general manager Matt Klentak’s expectations heading toward the vastly-approaching trade deadline.
Is it worth breaking the bank (again) on the market for a chance at the National League Wild Card Game? And then to get buzzed down by the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS should they make it out of the one-game playoff?
The Phillies’ starting rotation is in shambles behind Aaron Nola. It’s to the point where one could make an argument that general manager Matt Klentak should go out and get four new arms this offseason.
Eflin, whose ERA was at 2.83 as recent as Jun. 19, has a 10.65 ERA in his last six starts. He’s allowed at least six runs in four of those outings.
While his demise has been swift, it’s been apparent for some time that Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, and the injured Jerad Eickhoff don’t contribute much, either.
If only the problems ended there.
The Phillies’ bullpen has a 4.75 ERA this season, ranked 22nd in the majors, suggesting it needs plenty of help. And it might, but it will be an entirely different-looking unit once the likes of David Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez return — whenever that might be.
Offensively, the Klentak flashed plenty of cash to build the starting lineup into an imposing-looking unit on paper during the offseason. But the season-ending injury to Andrew McCutchen further stressed the lack of depth off the bench.
Add another few bats to Klentak’s wishlist.
So, to summarize, the Phillies need multiple starters, at least one or two more relievers, and a couple of competent bats.
That’s too much to address in just a few days.