Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto acknowledged what we all have seen pretty much all season.

The Phillies need to find a fifth starter.

Matt Strahm was the latest "fifth starter" to struggle on Monday night, giving up three runs on four hits over his 2 2/3 innings of work.

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Strahm was brought here to add depth to the Phillies bullpen, which needed to use Ranger Suárez as both a starter and in relief during the Phillies' 2022 playoff run to the World Series.

The team could look to bring Bailey Falter back, or a guy like Cristopher Sánchez, both who have struggled this season and are not pitching well down in the minors.

While the Phillies top four starters are starting to round into form, the fifth spot is still a mess, and the Phillies really don't really have an internal option at least at this time.

Andrew Painter is set to throw today and then again on Friday and if all goes well he will face live hitters in batting practice sessions. The team hopes that he will be able to pitch in live games at some point this season and could be the ultimate solution to the fifth-starter problem.

However, they'll need a bridge to get them to Painter.

So who can they get outside the organization to fill the role?  Here are a few names the team might consider before the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline, which is Tuesday, August 1st.

 

1. Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals

Greinke is 39 years old and has trouble getting through the lineup the third time, but could at least give the Phillies five solid innings and turn things over to their bullpen.

He is just 1-6 with a 4.65 ERA on the season pitching for a bad Royals team, but has a solid 1.13 WHIP and has pitched into the fifth inning or deeper in 12 of his 14 starts.

2. Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox

While the White Sox are just 4.5 games back in a paltry AL Central, they have been very disappointing this season and could look to move some salary.

Giolito wouldn't be a fifth starter, but more of a top-of-the-rotation guy and would allow the Phillies to bump Walker and Suárez back, giving the team a much better chance to compete in the playoffs.

He's 5-4 with a 3.54 ERA this season racking up 84 K's in 81.1 innings in 14 games for the White Sox.

3. Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox

Cease finished No. 2 in the AL Cy Young Award voting last season, but the Phillies would likely have to part with one of their better prospects to get him.  Cease would be more of a top-of-the-rotation arm, but at 27, he has two more seasons under contract.

He is 3-3 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 14 starts this season.

With Chicago having a disappointing season, he is another arm they could look to move if the Phillies want to strengthen their rotation.

4. Michael Lorenzen, Detroit Tigers

Lorenzen has had a solid season for the Tigers, who are 10 games under .500 this season.

Through 10 starts the 31-year-old is 2-3 and has a 3.75 ERA with an excellent 1.02 WHIP. While he isn't a big strikeout pitcher, he has an outstanding WHIP by not walking guys.

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