In the late 2000s, the Philadelphia Phillies were one of the best teams in baseball. The Phillies won the World Series in 2008, and returned to the Fall Classic in 2009, losing to the New York Yankees in six games. The Phillies made the playoffs again in 2010 and won a franchise record 102 games in 2011, but failed to make the World Series on both occasions. By 2012, the team’s stars started aging and the team failed to make the playoffs for three consecutive years, forcing management to embrace a full rebuild.
Since 2013-2016, the Phillies gutted their roster in an effort to reduce the team’s payroll, parting with stars like Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard. As expected, the roster turnover led to the team losing a lot of games. This year, the Phillies have already lost 58 games, which puts them on pace to lose over 100 games.
The Phillies aren’t expected to make the playoffs anytime soon; in fact, the odds for MLB betting for the season has the Phillies at +35.000 to win the World Series and at +40.000 to win the National League this year which means that except for the Padres, the Phillies are the second longest shot to make it.
But, if you’re a Phillies fan, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of hope for the future of the franchise, which will be addressed in this article.
First things first.
What are the Phillies doing wrong?
Statistically speaking, the Phillies are doing everything wrong at the moment because they are close to the bottom of the league when it comes to pitching and hitting.
The problem is, there isn’t much the Phillies can do right now because they have one of the youngest rosters in the league and these are the types of growing pains young teams go through.
What are the Phillies doing right?
Philadelphia has been smart to embrace the rebuild, and have been giving their young talent a lot of playing time, which will pay dividends in the future. The team has also kept some veterans like Jeremy Hellickson around to help mentor their young pitchers.
Philadelphia have at the moment six young, good pitchers who have plenty of potential to develop in the next couple of years. Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin have all quality starts in the majors. Nola has a good shot at as a second or third starter. Nola struggled at the beginning of the year, but after a couple weeks off due to injury, the LSU product has shown consistency the past month, and could be a solid piece of the rotation in the near future. Velasquez could also turn into a quality starter if they can get him to be consistent.
There’s also the fact the Phillies have some talent brewing in the minors in the likes of Jake Thompson and Sixto Sanchez, who could turn into outstanding players further down the line. If a few of these pitchers ripen anytime in the next couple of years, and John Middleton continues to bulk up the ranks through free agency, then you might see a playoff worthy team sooner than you might expect.
The Phillies have also borrowed a page from the Houston Astros’ playbook by getting rid of all the bad contracts and rebuilding the team mostly through the draft. The Phillies had the 10th pick in the 2015 draft, the top pick in the 2016 draft, the 8th pick in the 2017 draft, and are likely going to have the top pick once again next year. In two or three years, those draft picks are expected to be the players that help turn the franchise’s fortunes around.
How can the Phillies make the playoffs?
Philadelphia is a few years away from being a legitimate playoff contender, and the best way for them to make the playoffs will be having patience with their young players and waiting until they develop. If they go after free agents, they are no guarantees they will make the playoffs, and if they don’t, they will be saddled with bad contracts once again.
When will the Phillies make the playoffs?
It took the Astros five years to go from the worst team in baseball to a playoff team, so it’s likely going to take the same amount of time for Philadelphia to become a playoff team once again. For now, it’s probable that most fans will have to trust the rebuild process and wait for some years more. The down years will be tough for fans to take, but it’s worth it because if they’re patient, the Phillies will be a contender for a very long time.