All the possibilities have been exhausted from the shallow pool of minor league resources, and that includes Domonic Brown, who only recently started to hit.
Beerleaguer: If there was even the slightest possibility a particular player could help the big club, chances are they've already been given a shot, with one exception: Domonic Brown. Problem is the long-term risk outweighs the short-term reward. The Phils would be wise not to start his clock again just to throw him into this mess. Ruben Amaro admitted the Phils erred in bringing him up too soon before, and bear in mind the Phils offered a softer landing of lineup protection the last two seasons. Plus, Brown was playing with a lot of confidence, which he's only now starting to regain. Over his last 10 games, he's hitting .350/.409/.675 with four home runs. The Phils need to see consistency. That's Brown's mission in 2012.
Besides, Brown wouldn't give them anything more than Laynce Nix can. Nix, who was hitting .326/.392/.587 and has been missed more than people realize, began his rehab assignment in Clearwater Thursday. Nix could have been used all over the outfield, and at first, to give weary players like Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence a much-needed blow during this slog.
In the bullpen, the Phils know how hard it is to develop good relief internally, even though other teams seem to do it constantly. Antonio Bastardo is the best homegrown option to come up the chain since Ryan Madson a decade ago. The problem now is that too many relievers are learning on the fly: Joe Savery, Jake Diekman, Michael Schwimer, even Raul Valdes does not have a ton of big league service time. It's doubtful the guys in the minors - Brian Sanches, Jeremy Horst, BJ Rosenberg, Phillippe Aumont - would offer more. The biggest deficiency is that veteran anchor the Phils were hoping Jose Contreras or Chad Qualls would become.
If the Phils reached for another arm out of desperation, in the rotation or 'pen, they could consider right-hander Tyler Cloyd, who has been Lehigh Valley's best starter and pitched an eight-inning, one-run gem Wednesday. In 12 starts between Lehigh Valley and Reading, he has a 2.11 ERA and reminds me a little of Kyle Kendrick, a groundball pitcher who relies on his command. It's unclear what the organization has planned for him.
In terms of position talent, the best players in the pipeline are up-the-middle slashing defenders. If Freddy Galvis is the Phillies' best young player, than Double-A switch-hitting second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who grew up with Galvis in Venezuela and flashes the same exquisite glove, is right behind him. Outfielder Tyson Gillies has had a bounce-back season for Reading, but it's still doubtful the Phils received a cornerstone piece in the Cliff Lee deal.
If the Phils indeed become July sellers, they'll need a big score. Or several.