The Philadelphia Phillies’ 5 Most Irreplaceable Players Right Now

The Philadelphia Phillies' 5 Most Irreplaceable Players Right Now

Phillies
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Philles continue to struggle in the NL East. Right now the team is 22-26 and are five games back of the first-place Atlanta Braves. The team is having a hard time finding a productive lineup from top to bottom and star pitcher Cliff Lee is on the DL. There is a bright side, however. The bullpen has been stellar and veteran hitters are doing their best to get on base. Here are five Phillies players who would be tough to replace.

5. Mike Adams

Mike Adams
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

5. Mike Adams

Mike Adams
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Adams is the setup man to Jonathan Papelbon. In that position, Adams has a lot of responsibility to keep opponents from scoring and ruining the save situation. In 14.1 innings, Adams has recorded 17 strikeouts and six holds. He has a 2.51 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and limits opponent hitters to a .232 average. Without Adams holding down the fort in the late innings, who knows how many games the Phillies would be under .500.

4. A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

4. A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After two average seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies signed A.J. Burnett in hopes to anchor down the back half of the rotation. And he's done just that. Despite owning a 3-4 record, he has a 3.51 ERA, 1.425 WHIP and struck out 53 batters in 66.2 innings. He's hit a rough patch right now, but Burnett is the veteran pitcher the Phillies need while Lee is out. His next start is against the New York Mets which should help his psyche.

3. Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Rollins looked to be on the decline after seeing his average drop from .296 in 2007 to .252 in 2013. The speed looked to be gone as well. However, Rollins is hitting better than ever since taking over the leadoff position. He has a .263 average and .360 on-base percentage. There seems to be an increase in power as well. Rollins has already hit six home runs, equaling in 2013 total. With the high OBP, it helps his teammates drive in runs.

2. Chase Utley

Chase Utley
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Chase Utley

Chase Utley
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley is having no trouble getting on base this season. He is hitting .337 with a .394 OBP. It helps that he can find the gaps very easily. He has 21 doubles so far with 25 RBIs. Utley isn't known to be the power guy, which is why he went 32 straight games without a home run. Utley's biggest contribution to the team is his fielding. He has committed an average of just under 10 errors per season, and it's impossible to replace the captain.

1. Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Papelbon had his fair share of detractors throughout his career, even donning the nickname "Papelblown". However, he seems to have put all that behind him. He has a 1.96 ERA, his lowest since 2009. He has converted 13 straight save opportunities after blowing the first. It even looks like the neck trouble he had earlier in the season has subsided. Without Papelbon closing in the ninth, it's hard to tell where the team would be.

Bill Pivetz is a fantasy sports writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BPiv_Sports.

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