Phillies Mailbag: McCutchen, Haseley, Pitching
We are back once again with a 97.3 ESPN Phillies mailbag. Each week we take your questions and talk about them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill every Tuesday. Send your questions anytime on Twitter to @FrankKlose or send a text to the text board at 609-403-0973.
Are the Phillies done if Andrew McCutchen is out long-term?
Watching Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen go down last night was very difficult. It was a play that did not really need to happen; had Jean Segura run the ball out, second baseman Ian Kinsler may have not tried for the double play that necessitated a rundown. We await the MRI results, but losing McCutchen long-term will be really tough.
As the Phillies leadoff hitter, McCutchen has helped set the tone for the Phillies offense. While his batting average is just .256, McCutchen walks, provides some power now and then, and scores lots of runs. His speed and good instincts on the base paths has been really helpful ahead of the Phillies big bats.
I think it would be hard to say that the Phillies are now "out of it". With Odubel Herrera on administrative leave and with a questionable future, the Phillies at least now have professional outfielder Jay Bruce, who can play left field on a daily basis, if necessary. That would necessitate the Phillies getting a strong center fielder.
The Phillies can bat Cesar Hernandez leadoff, Jay Bruce sixth, and whoever can field the ball in center eighth, with Scott Kingery batting seventh. The Phillies were likely looking for a center fielder before, and probably will continue to now. It's not as strong as it was before, but the Phillies can make this work.
What can the Phillies get out of Adam Haseley? Is he ready for the major leagues?
To be blunt, Adam Haseley is probably not ready for the major leagues just yet. Combined Double-A and Triple-A he has only 300-plus at bats, and has just six games under his belt at Triple-A. The Phillies needed Haseley because even Dylan Cozens is hurt at this time and the Phillies do not have a center fielder of any form.
The Phillies likely will allow Haseley to play a little bit, with the focus mainly that he can make plays in center field. That position is one where defense is necessary. The days he will play, he could bat seventh or eighth and face little pressure. He probably will not start against left-handed pitching.
The Phillies really need Scott Kingery to get some at bats at third base right now, as Maikel Franco is giving the club absolutely nothing. The Phillies could check in on some third basemen to try to get some offense there, should Haseley's bat not be ready for the major leagues yet.
But the Phillies will not ask much more of Haseley than to catch the ball for now. I would expect them to come up with another solution, unless he happens to hit the cover off of the ball in his time up. But that is not fair to expect.
What do you think the Phillies will do to address their pitching?
I think the Phillies will be on the hunt for some healthy pitching. But hopefully they will get some relief in the form of some healthy pitchers. Tommy Hunter could return in a couple weeks. It appears that Zach Eflin will start on Friday, as the Phillies already sent Cole Irvin back to Triple-A.
But it's fair to say the Phillies still need a left-handed starter. They were very exposed over the weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have a trove of solid left-handed bats. The Jose Alvarez-Irvin combo got them through a game, but it also knocked Alvarez, the only bullpen lefty, out for the next day.
But the problem is that there are not many teams with assets for trade just yet. Maybe four or five teams have records that put them "out of it", and it is unclear that they are willing to make deals yet. Danny Duffy of the Kansas City Royals could be an option if they're willing to trade him, but there is no indication they are willing to do that just yet.
The trade deadline is still almost eight weeks away; a lot could change between now and then. Some teams might decide at the last minute to sell, waiting until then to see if they have a shot of rescuing their seasons with an acquisition or two.