PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They’re not here yet, though everyone knows their names: Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Rhys Hoskins, Dylan Cozens, P.J. Crawford and Roman Quinn.
They’re the stars of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, and hopefully, the future of the Phillies.
But where are the current Phillies right now?
There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball and the Phillies sit at rock bottom, with what has been a historic drop. At 19-35 on June 5, they have the worst record in MLB. They averted another dubious mark when they won the weekend series over the visiting San Francisco Giants, breaking the streak of losing 10-straight series (the team record is 11-straight losing series going back to the 43-111 Phillies of 1941).
The Phillies are coming off a 6-22 May, their worst May since going 3-22 in May of 1928. The 1928 team, by the way, finished 43-109. On Friday, these Phillies lost 10-0 to the Giants, possibly the nadir of the Phillies’ season, going 6-26 over their last 32 games at that point.
It took rookie Ben Lively, a Lehigh Valley call-up, to pitch the Phillies to a 5-3 victory over Giants on Saturday, to break the five-game losing streak. Lively went seven innings in his major league debut, which is the total number of innings the Phillies starters went in the three previous starts.
Lively was the first Phillies starter to earn a victory since Jeremy Hellickson on April 27. He was 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA in nine Lehigh Valley starts at AAA this season.
The Phillies aren’t going anywhere this season. They may not even climb out of the National League East Division baseball. They’re not going anywhere with Cameron Rupp, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera and Michael Saunders? Aaron Altherr holds a lot of promise, and he’s proven he belongs on the team when the new wave hits – as do Tommy Joseph and Maikel Franco.
It’s June. There are large segments of empty seats at Citizens Bank Park. Apathy has set in for what is a loyal fan base. They deserve to see the next generation of Phillies now. They can’t do any worse than the current Phillies. They will take their lumps, and hopefully benefit, like the previous core of Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz did.