Which Phillies are the real Phillies?
Are they the home-run mashing, overachieving squad that has Philadelphia fans optimistic that a contender is returning to South Philly sometime soon? Or the mistake-prone, inexperienced losers that can get swept in a series on any given week?
The Phils' upcoming four-game home series against the surging Marlins will give a good answer for fans, who have seen their club fight to get close to the .500 mark.
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All 7:05 starts, the homestand could be the last time some rumored trade block pitchers — or hitters — play in Citizens Bank Park ahead of the August 1 trade deadline.
One pitcher who certainly will not be dealt is Aaron Nola, who kicks off the series opposite Miami ace Jose Fernandez, (who has gone 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA over his last 11 starts prior to the All-Star break). Nola, of course, makes his second-half debut after skipping a start last week.
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Vince Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff will start Games 2 and 4 respectively on Tuesday and Thursday, and are also two key pieces to the Phils' future.
Game 3, however, could be the Philly farewell to Jeremy Hellickson. Should the one-time AL Rookie of the Year depart he'll hopefully yield the Phils a mid-level prospect. Hellickson, who will be a free agent at season's end anyway, will be countered by Marlins hurlerWei-Yin Chen Wednesday night.
Other players connected to trade rumors (who could be playing their last four games in Philly) include Cameron Rupp, Carlos Ruiz and Peter Bourjos.
A 10-game road trip in Pittsburgh, Miami and Atlanta follows this week's Marlins series.