Officially Mediocre, Philadelphia Phillies Must Begin to Go With Younger Players

By Mike Gibson
Philadelphia Phillies
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In a little over a month of baseball, we have not learned much about the Philadelphia Phillies other than the team is as mediocre this year as it has been since the end of the 2012 season.

Bill Parcells said it best when he stated “you are what your record is”, and the Phillies have been hovering around .500 for so long that they can be officially called mediocre. After 30 games this season, the Phillies are .500 again. They have not advanced two games above .500 since Oct. 1, 2012.

News Flash: It’s not getting any better, folks.

It’s been a slow but steady decline since five-straight NL East championships, but it has arrived and it is time the organization does something about it. The Phillies must begin to identify underachieving veterans and start replacing them with a younger and hungrier skill set.

The team which scored 14 runs in its opening day win at the Texas Rangers has been shutout twice and the most recent by former Phillies’ product J.A. Happ of the Toronto Blue Jays, who normally does not strike fear in any offense.

Worse yet, after every unproductive offensive performance, the veterans take a “we’ll just have to go out and get them tomorrow” attitude. Tomorrow for a first baseman like Ryan Howard means more of his .239 average. The same goes for shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who has been hovering around .250 for much of the last four years. Both are captains of the “we’ll get them tomorrow” crew in the Phillies’ clubhouse.

Chase Utley, who never says such things and is hitting .333, is a fixture at second base as is Carlos Ruiz at catcher. But every other veteran should fear for his job, and the fact is that’s not happening now. Until it does, the Phillies will hover around .500 and, when the season finishes at 81-81, no one will be surprised.

Mike Gibson is a Phillies writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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