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MLB Philadelphia Phillies

5 Things We’ve Learned Midway Through 2014 About The Philadelphia Phillies

5 Things We've Learned Midway Through 2014 About The Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

No one had high expectations for the 2014 Philadelphia Phillies going into the season. They are a team made up of marginally talented young players combined with aging holdovers from the 2008 World Series squad. Despite the hot streak the Phillies currently find themselves in, they have under-performed from day one and have not impressed anyone. Here is what we've learned so far.

5. Cody Asche May Be The Real Deal

Cody Asche Phillies
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

5. Cody Asche May Be The Real Deal

Cody Asche Phillies
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In his five games since coming back from the DL, Cody Asche has been hitting .368 and averaging .273 on the 2014 season. Despite some inconsistency earlier this year, he has been making quite a case that he is the future of the franchise.

4. Signing Jonathan Papelbon Was A Mistake

Jonathan Papelbon Phillies
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

4. Signing Jonathan Papelbon Was A Mistake

Jonathan Papelbon Phillies
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It has become very apparent that the money Jonathan Papelbon is getting paid is way too much. His fastball is starting to slow down, he has blown some key saves this season and has a problem with bouts of “soreness." Too much for too little.

3. Ryan Howard Is Past His Prime

Ryan Howard Phillies
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

3. Ryan Howard Is Past His Prime

Ryan Howard Phillies
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his bat suddenly getting hot, Ryan Howard's best playing days are obviously behind him. He is on a record pace for strikeouts this year and, worst of all, the Phillies faithful may have had enough of him.

2. Chase Utley Is The Best Player On This Team

Chase Utley Phillies
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

2. Chase Utley Is The Best Player On This Team

Chase Utley Phillies
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

After two seasons with knee issues and questions about his skills declining, Chase Utley has returned with a vengence. He has batted over .300 for almost the entire season, his play at second base has been stellar and he is on his way to his sixth All-Star Game.

1. The End Is Near

Philadelphia Phillies
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

1. The End Is Near

Philadelphia Phillies
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Even though there is still a fair chance the Phillies could make the postseason, the end is in sight for this franchise as it exists now. Within the next couple of years, what's left of the 2008 squad will be traded away, new players will take their place and a rebuilt Phillies team will rise from the ashes.

David Goodman is a Philadelphia Phillies writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillyGuyDave, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your circles on Google.