PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies, 30-38, have the fifth worst record in all of baseball. Remarkably, they continue to hang around in the National League East, now just 5.5 games back after beating the first place Braves on Monday night. General Manager, Ruben Amaro Jr., continues to answer the buy vs. sell trade deadline question, admitting he is still waiting for things to play out.
“I’ve talked to plenty of clubs, in fact 10 or 12 of them now, and they’re all really kind of really trying to figure out exact where they are as are we,” Ruben Amaro Jr. explained to the 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. “You know, 10 days ago I would have told you we were out of this thing, but to be where we are right now kind of puts is in a very strange position. We’re still kind of in evaluation mode.”
An exciting aspect of the Phillies of late has been the right-handed 100-mile-per-hour throwing reliever, Ken Giles. Giles made his Major League debut last week, allowing one hit and one earned run, while striking out three of the five batters he’s faced in two appearances. Giles has impressively displayed a nasty slider in the 88-89 MPH range to compliment his powerful fastball.
“Hopefully at some point, he’s able to close for us,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He has the arm to close. Whether he gets to the point where he has the mentality to be able to close in Major League games for a championship team that remains to be seen. So far, what we’ve seen out of him, he’s handled things pretty well.”
As for the Phillies current closer Jonathan Papebelbon, he blew his first save on Monday since the second game of the season on April 2nd, snapping a 15-straight save streak. Despite the blown save Pap’s value is currently high, but Amaro Jr. says the Phillies are better with him than without him.
“We’re betting off as a team having Papelbon on the club, if we want to make a run at a championship because of the experience and the way he is throwing,” Amaro Jr. said. “I mean, he actually threw the ball extremely well yesterday. Literally, three bloop hits and that’s unfortunate, but it happens.”
Again, this next stretch of baseball for the Phillies will dictate a lot.
“My eyes and ears are always open right now, we just don’t know where we are,” Amaro Jr. explained. “If we’re headed to get back into contention, which is not out of the realm of possibility right now — of course that could change in a week, that could change in five days — we’re better off having him on our club. If not, we’ll keep an open mind.”
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