We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag.  Each week we take your questions and answer them on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill.  Tune in each Tuesday afternoon to hear your questions answered on the air.

Why are we keeping Cristian Pache? Not once has he shown he is a legitimate offensive player. Seems we have two gloves with Johan Rojas and Pache... hmm what to do?

I do believe and have frequently said that the roster spots given to both Cristian Pache and Johan Rojas are rather redundant.   I think going into 2024 two factors went into the decision to have both.  One was that if Rojas failed to remain n the major leagues, they would have Pache.  The other was that the Phillies preferred to retain Pache instead of losing him on waivers.

The first factor did indeed happen.  Rojas was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after failing to bunt, use his speed, and hit overall.  When that happened, the Phillies still had Brandon Marsh and Pache to help patrol center field.  David Dahl added an extra outfield option and essentially picked up Pache's slot.

Pache, however, has not hit.  That will factor into part two.

I still believe that if the Phillies tried to pass Pache through waivers, someone would claim him.   There will be a lesser team that can turn center field over to him and let him have it the rest of the year.  The Phillies may try to do that eventually; a lot depends on what happens between now and the July 30 trade deadline.

Should the Phillies acquire an outfielder, it could be that Pache goes in the deal.  He would not be a centerpiece, but maybe he could fill a hole for the other team.  I think that there will be an outfielder coming the Phillies way before the deadline.

When that happens, it could be the end of Pache.  Or, the Phillies could decide they want his glove around and Rojas back in Triple-A.  While I think Pache could be a useful piece on a major league club, I think your point is valid that he might not be someone who should play a whole lot.

But with three Phillies offensive pieces out on the injured list, Pache's lack of offense is more pronounced.  When they were present, you might not have thought of Pache at all.  I think you might be less worried if the Phillies add one outfielder and Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and J.T. Realmuto are healthy.

This version of the Phillies offense is absolutely anemic. Struggling to score runs against a terrible Marlins pitching staff. How is this going to fly against the Braves and the Dodgers?

Should any Major League team lose three of their high-dollar, star players all at the same time, what would you expect?    Losing Harper, Schwarber, and Realmuto is a big blow.  But there is good news: they're going to get healthy and the Phillies will be better.

A while back on this show, I was asked about the over/under for Phillies wins.  Would the number be over 100?  I remained steadfast that I would put the number at 95.  That's still pretty good, right?  I acknowledged that there will be some down times throughout the season.

This one might be it.  The day the Marlins series began, the Phillies were 8 full games up on the Atlanta Braves.  The day the series ended, the Phillies were 8 full games up over the Atlanta Braves.

The Phillies currently stand at 55-29.  There are 78 games left.  If the Phillies play .500 the rest of the way, they win 94 games.  94 games will take the Phillies to the playoffs.  And, I believe that it would still win them the National League East.

Despite being down three star players in their lineup, the Phillies were ranked #1 on the MLB.com power rankings this week. 

Phillies fans hang closely on every game, which is a sign of an engaged, passionate fan base.  But if the Phillies have a rough couple of weeks - and I believe the pitching alone, even without a #5 starter, will keep the Phillies treading water - they will be in a good position after the All Star break when their stars return.

Is Trea Turner not 100% or told not to run all out? He now is a 3 1/2 tool player.

We witnessed not one, not two, but three different Phillies go down with hamstring injuries.  Trea Turner, Brandon Marsh, and Bryce Harper all found themselves with hamstring injuries. Was it a coincidence, or was there something in the team's conditioning that needed to be addressed?

The Phillies did not particularly think they were connected, but acknowledged they would at least consider the possibility.  The individual players who just returned from the injuries I can see being a little tentative upon their return.

According to the National Institute of Health, hamstring injuries are more likely to reoccur within the year after the injury.

Knowing the previous pain, which began in each case from someone running with their available might, could be fresh in Turner's or Marsh's and maybe soon Harper's mind.  I am sure the natural human tendency is to not re-injure that hamstring and stay on the field.

So while he is certainly under doctor's watch, I would imagine he has not been told not to run; he was indeed cleared by the doctors, I can see the memory of the injury keeping Turner just a tick tentative.  Perhaps he will become more comfortable as time goes on and he's able to stay on the field.  But I think it's just human nature.

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