As the Phillies continue to expose the soft underbelly of the National League, one can’t help but wonder if they’re already poised for a repeat, without having to make a major move.
This offseason, Ruben Amaro took over the reins from Pat Gillick, who once earned the disparaging nickname ‘Stand Pat’ for his reluctance to pull the trigger at the trade deadline. Turns out, there’s a chance it could become the mentor’s most valuable lesson. In his first year at the helm, Amaro, at the center of the juiciest deadline gossip this season, is positioned better than any GM in baseball to set the baseball world on fire with a big acquisition. Roy Halladay is a temptation so real he can taste it, but is he being lured by baseball's forbidden fruit - a veteran pitcher at his peak? As the run-up to July 31 reaches a fever pitch, the urgency to make changes has never been less. The Phillies have won nine in a row to build a commanding 6.5-game lead in the division. The lineup is crammed with killers. The starting pitching has stabilized to the point where it’s become something of a strength. The bullpen, decimated during interleague play, has regained its footing. And the farm system is arguably deeper than at any point this decade.