The Phillies (42-53) lost their second straight game Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, the offense was anemic and pitching was horrific. There are rumors surrounding the impending trades, including a potential Marlon Byrd trade to the Seattle Mariners. There are many names that will be talked about in the coming weeks.
Philadelphia sits ten games behind the Braves and Nationals in the lousy National League East and could finish in the cellar for the first time since the 2000 season. There are numerous players GM Ruben Amaro should be moving including A.J. Burnett, Kyle Kendrick, Marlon Byrd, John Mayberry, left reliever Antonio Bastardo and closer Jonathon Papelbon. The team should deeply consider offers for Cliff Lee, Ben Revere, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. Various potential transactions will be hindered due to trade clauses, especially on Rollins’ deal and Utley’s contract.
Following any trades, roster spots will need to be filled immediately for the rest of the 2014 season. Below are candidates for promotions to the major league level following the trade deadline.
If Kendrick and Burnett are indeed traded like they should be, Marquis will be the second starter they add to their roster after Atlanta born David Buchannan. The former Atlanta Braves draftee and pitcher for eight separate major league clubs holds a career 4.56 ERA and 1.442 WHIP and will be relied upon to eat up innings late into August and beyond. He’s a better option than calling up a pitching prospect that’s not yet ready (Jesse Biddle) and saves them service time. Marquis has been rehabbing for the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (AAA) and has allowed one earned run in 18 innings pitched.
A seventh round pick by Philadelphia in the 2009 draft, this 25 year old rookie starter has been serviceable in his first MLB action. He’s been worth .5 WAR according to Baseball Reference through ten starts, posting a 4.40 ERA in 59.1 IP. He should be called up once Burnett or Kendrick is dealt.
There isn’t much upside for Buchannan (5-5) beyond a fringe number five starter and long man in the bullpen. His cutter and fastball have proved to be effective enough to get by as a primary pitch and Buchannan’s changeup is his best off-speed option to throw. He has yet to throw his curveball enough to put that in the head of any opposing hitter.
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
Gonzalez has progressed up the Phillies’ minor league ranks as he rehabs from injury in spring training, making his stamp in Reading. He’s pitched seven innings in Double A in his first pro season, including a 1.29 ERA. Gonzalez has recorded 12 punch outs since he joined Reading to just three walks. With Papelbon and Bastardo potentially being dealt, Gonzalez is a promotion candidate to Philadelphia in August, although probably late in the month. He needs to continue to work on building up arm strength and establish command of his fastball. Gonzalez could become a middle innings relief pitcher for the Phillies for the final two months of the season with potential to become a legit bullpen option at the major league level for the next few seasons if he can’t become a starting pitcher because of arm troubles.
If John Mayberry Jr. is traded to a contender for an organizational depth type player, Ruf is an option for the Phillies to take on at bats against left handers at first base along with adding some power off the bench. He has holes in his swing and isn’t a future starter at the major league level, but he’s a better play than Howard in certain situations. Ruf shouldn’t be considered for any spot in the Phillies outfield when he returns. Ruf had slashed .211/.287/.284/ in 95 at bats in the minors this season entering Sunday’s action.
Like Gonzalez, Aumont has had his problems with command. He features a heavy sinker, but lacks consistent control of his primary pitch. His curveball features sharp break when his mechanics are consistent, which doesn’t happen very often. He’s had a bit of a comeback in Lehigh Valley for the Ironpigs since a terrible performance for Philadelphia in the majors this season, posting a 3.86 ERA in 39.2 innings. His walks are still a major issue, but sticking him in the minors for the next few seasons won’t do anything for Philadelphia. He could be kicked off the 40 man roster if he can’t produce at the major league level soon.
Castro is the primary outfielder that could be called up if Marlon Byrd is indeed dealt. Grady Sizemore could slide into a corner outfield spot with Dominic Brown, leaving Ben Revere at CF. Cameron Perkins isn’t a legit option for Philadelphia just yet and Castro is a depth player who could get his first taste at the majors after eight seasons in the minor leagues. He stole 20 bases for the Irongpigs last year, but is 123/183 over his MILB career.