As the Major League Baseball season hits the dog days of summer, many baseball pundits would say the Phillies lack of starting pitching might be their biggest need at the July 31st trade deadline.

Despite Aaron Nola's up-and-down season, Jake Arrieta's struggles and the lack of a consistent fifth starter, the Philadelphia Phillies are still firmly in the mix in the N.L. East and a top the N.L. Wild Card race.

According to a new ESPN ranking, the Phillies pitching might not be as bad as every one thinks.

The site ranked the Phillies pitching staff 16th in baseball, which was eight spots below division rival New York and 10 spots below Washington, the only team in the NL East ranked below the Phillies were the Braves.

The Nationals and Mets finished sixth and eighth in the rankings, respectively, while the Braves finished 19th.

Here’s what ESPN writer Dan Szymborski had to say about the Phillies’ positioning:

Aaron Nola is coming around, but the rotation has generally underperformed in 2019 and the Phillies have a lot of quality relievers on the injured list at the moment. That gives them potential to move up in these rankings quickly, but as with the Indians or Cardinals, there's no guarantee. Philly ought to be active before the trade deadline this July.

The rotation has been troublesome for the Phillies all season, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been some bright spots. Zach Eflin has been the teams most consistent starter, with a 2.81 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, going 6-6 in 80 innings over 13 starts.

Since returning from a demotion to the minors, Nick Pivetta has settled back into the rotation, but the No. 5 spot in the rotation is still unsettled and the two perceived "aces" haven't preformed like aces.

A couple of names that 97.3 ESPN Phillies insider Frank Klose brought up on The Sports Bash were Madison Bumgarner, Danny Duffy, Matthew Boyd, and Mike Minor.

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