As the Phillies head into action Thursday Night, they are five days away from the MLB Trade Deadline on July 31st.  Despite numerous reports of the Phillies interest in several players around Major League Baseball, valuable options such as Manny Machado, Brad Hand, Zach Britton, and JA Happ all being acquired by other playoff contenders.  Even though the Phillies are sitting in first place in the National League East with a 57-44 record, the team still has needs that need to be addressed as they are 12th in the NL in Team Batting Average (.235), 14th in Fielding Percentage (.980), and have only three pitchers who have started games this season with ERA under 3.50 (Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin). Phillies Contributor Kevin Cooney joined The Sports Bash on Wednesday discussing what the Phillies need to target to improve the team ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline:

"The starting pitching (need) is not as farfetched as (Phillies GM) Klentak may have made everybody believe last Friday. - Maybe the best possibility for them is making the starting pitching move and taking one of your young starters and putting them back in the bullpen. Vince Velasquez has only thrown 130 innings in his major league career once. He only had 75 last year....At some point here are you gonna try to really stretch him out and go 160, 170 and leave him as a starter? That comes with a lot of risk. If you put him back in the bullpen and you get another starting pitching, it probably solidifies both ends. That’s why I think the starting pitching move is probably the one I would make at this point - We should point out, their bullpen in July has been really good even with the little stutter that they had on Monday night."

Hear what Cooney had to say about Chase Utley, Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, and more

More From 97.3 ESPN