Why the Philadelphia Phillies are Only a Year or Two Away from Joining the Houston Astros in the Cellar

By Kyle McAreavy
Charlie Manuel
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are getting old. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Just look around that roster. Carlos Ruiz is going on 34 , so is Ryan Howard. Chase Utley will turn 35 after the season, same with Jimmy Rollins, and newly acquired third baseman Michael Young will turn 37 this year. Thats just the infield.

It feels mean to say, but the Houston Astros have been the laughing stock of baseball for the past few seasons. They have lost over 100 games both of the last two seasons, and will likely lose 100 again in 2013. What people forget is that the Astros were in the World Series in 2005. Back then, they were a good team filled with superstars.

You know what happened to them in just five short years? Roger Clemens retired, Andy Pettitte left for the New York Yankees, Roy Oswalt was traded without getting much in return, and the same for Wandy Rodriguez.

Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Morgan Ensberg all retired. Imagine losing all of these players, and then trading Lance Berkman one year before he became the second MVP of the St. Louis Cardinals (behind Albert Pujols) during their world series run in 2011?

Everyone got old or retired from the Astros only a couple years after losing the 2005 World Series to the Chicago White Sox. Now look at that Phillies team again.

They were in the World Series in back-to-back season just four years ago. But look around, Young is likely to retire in a year or two, Rollins will retire in a couple seasons, so will Utley and Howard. And I haven’t even looked at their pitching rotation yet.

Cole Hamels is young and a verified ace, but Cliff Lee is 35, and Roy Halladay is 36. They have both entered their decline already, and are likely to go after just a couple more years. What makes me worry about them is looking at whats coming up after all these guys retire.

Are Dominic Brown, Ben Revere and Hamels really going to carry this team in the future? Hamels might, but that is what the Astros thought about Oswalt. The Phillies really don’t have any top-of-the-line prospects to take all these roster spots that will need to be filled in just a couple seasons.

Nobody sees it right now, but the Phillies are going to crash in a year or two if they don’t do something about it. And that crash is going to be hard.

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