Phillies in trouble

Entering the season, the Phillies had been to back to back World Series in 2008 and 2009. Many people had them pegged as the best team in the National League. Add in the fact that they picked up Doc Halladay and you could forgetaboutit.

But with the half-way point of the season approaching, the Phillies sit in third place at 41-35, three games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Meanwhile, Chase Utley, the Phillies best player, has been placed on the DL along with Placido Polanco.

The road ahead could be brutal to Philadelphia. Greg Dobbs, who is replacing Polanco, and Wilson Valdez, who is replacing Utley, are both below average players. Yes, Philly still has Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, and Shane Victorino in the lineup, but they are missing out on two players who have combined for a 5.2 WAR so far. The drop off between that and their replacements is HUGE. If Utley and Polanco are out for an extended period of time, it could be Philly’s death sentence as the Braves do not look to be letting up, and the Mets will only be getting stronger with the addition of Carlos Beltran.

One break for Philly is the fact that the AS break is coming up shortly. If they can manage their way through the next twelve games, then they could be fine. But if Utley and Polanco aren’t back by the time the break ends, it could mean serious trouble. After opening the second half with four against the Cubs, the Phillies have four games with the Cardinals and four games with the Rockies- two solid ball clubs.

I never would have imagined this scenario back in March, but the Phillies appear likely to miss out on the postseason for the first time since 2006.

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