The Phillies lost Sunday's finale against the Colorado Rockies 5-4.  Many did not see the game, as they were watching the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons.  As the clock ticks, the Phillies have made some decisions that might have come too late.

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De Los Santos Exits the Phillies

Prior to Sunday's game, the Phillies designated for assignment the contract of Enyel De Los Santos.   On Monday, De Los Santos was claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The move keeps De Los Santos on the 40-man roster of the Pirates, and potentially sets up a reunion when Pittsburgh comes to Philadelphia on the 23rd.

Mostly serving as the team's mop-up reliever, De Los Santos was 1-1 with a 6.75 earned run average in 26 relief appearances.  With a thin roster, De Los Santos was pitching in higher-leverage situations on occasion.  The Phillies will instead turn to the likes of new addition Cam Bedrosian instead.

De Los Santos was originally acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for shortstop Freddy Galvis.

Could Vince Velasquez Have Helped?

The Phillies needed a roster spot and decided to designate Vince Velasquez for assignment rather than activating him.  The Phillies will need to pitch at least four more bullpen games the rest of the way.  Yet, the Phillies are moving on without Velasquez, who is 3-6 with a 5.95 ERA this season in 17 games.

Either the Phillies felt that he was not capable of helping the Phillies, or they decided that this was a message to be sent.

Velasquez has a career record of 31-41 with a 4.93 ERA, 1.40 WHIP in 582.2 big league innings (133 appearances, 116 starts) since 2016.

No Options to Get the Lineup Right

The Phillies lineup continues to struggle to score runs.  The Phillies are down two of their key right-handed bats they were counting on in Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm.  Instead of a left field platoon with Andrew McCutchen, Brad Miller has needed to start at first base.

It also seems Ronald Torreyes, who is a terrific defender, is starting to wear down at the plate.  Torreyes hasn't had a base hit in his last five games, dropping his average to .245 on the season.  You could see more of Freddy Galvis at third base with Torreyes struggling.

The Phillies are trying Matt Vierling all over the diamond in hopes of an offensive spark.

Down, But Not Out

After Sunday's game, the Phillies were 4.5 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves.  The remaining Phillies schedule is overwhelmingly against teams behind the Phillies in the standings.  The Phillies have one day off left.

The remaining match ups are:

  • Vs. Chicago Cubs: 9/14, 9/15, 9/16
  • At New York Mets, 9/17, 9/18, 9/19
  • Vs. Baltimore Orioles, 9/20, 9/21, 9/22
  • Vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 9/23, 9/24, 9/25, 9/26
  • At Atlanta Braves, 9/28, 9/29, 9/30
  • At Miami Marlins, 10/1, 10/2, 10/3

If the Phillies can pick up a couple games on the Braves ahead of their series with the Braves, they will have a shot of overtaking the National League East.  That is, of course, if their bats show up.

The biggest challenge to the Braves will be the San Francisco Giants and the Padres.  After three against Colorado, the Braves have three games against the Giants in San Francisco.  The Braves have no remaining games against the Washington Nationals or Marlins.

The Braves head to San Diego to finish a game that was suspended earlier this season in Atlanta, and to play three fresh games.

The Phillies meanwhile are 2.5 games behind the San Diego Padres for the second Wild Card.   If the Padres do not give the Phillies an opportunity to catch up to the Braves, the Braves could at least help the Phillies get closer to the Wild Card.

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