New Day Dawning

Those Philly boo birds: Oh where, oh where have they gone? — Ron Costello

Two Chases Wouldn’t Be Half Bad

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Middle inning reliever Jeff Manship has a 6.75 ERA.

Middle inning reliever Jeff Manship has a 6.75 ERA.

Isn’t that where we are? Half-bad, or for rosy-glass optimists, half-good.

Baseball is a game of numbers and the numbers are screaming: The Phillies are so-so, or,  not being good enough to be described as good. And not  being bad enough to be described as stinko.

Hear em?’ The screaming numbers?

The numbers are saying  average, ordinary, undistinguished, and limited.

25 down, 137 games to go. Closing out a western travel-go-round through Denver, LA, and the Sonoran Dessert — 6 and 4. Earlier in April  — against Atlanta and Milwaukee — they looked overmatched. But they rebounded on a tough road trip and those numbers scream potential to be very good.

Returning from the dessert they are 13-12 and 4.5 games behind Atlanta — and the lilacs aren’t yet in full bloom. There’s a possibility the team could drift one way or the other, more likely the other.

Third baseman Cody Ashe is hitting .200 with 4 strikeouts on Sunday.

Third baseman Cody Ashe is hitting .200 with 4 strikeouts on Sunday.

The bullpen has been unsettled. They’re still struggling to find a stopgap for the 6th and 7th — i.e. Wednesday night’s 5-2 meltdown against the Dodgers.

Ethan Martin is still on the mend. I thought the young guns would be better. I did. There’s still a chance they will be. The bullpen is not suffering from lack of talent, just struggling to find the right combinations.

The starting pitching has been decent, especially Lee and Burnett. Now Cole is back.

The offense, too, looks good, except Brown’s power numbers — a home run and 10 RBIs. Howard  is five/14. Utley’s back to being Utley and Bird’s making Dear Leader smarter every day. Defensively, a huge improvement over last season’s Delmon Young catastrophe.

They need Headley at third and a healthy Darin Ruf.

They need a healthy Darin Ruf back.

Hamels and Adams are back on board and hopefully Darin Ruf will be too — soon, to push Brown and provide more pop from the bench. But right now there’s one glaring hole: Third base.

Using a mix of Ashe, Nix, and Galvis won’t give the Nationals or Braves night sweats.

But there is an answer in the name of Chase Headley, the 23 year old San Diego Padres third baseman — an eight year show veteran. Headley is a switch hitting power hitter the Phils need.

Ruben, know off the BS and go get Headley.

Ruben, knock off the BS and go get Headley.

Right now he’s in a slump and DL’d — strained calf and knee problems. The Padres would be happy to unload him, maybe for Kyle Kendrick and spare change. Maybe for less. Even picking up a portion of Headley’s salary.

Headley can also play left and has career average numbers of . 267 / 16 home runs. In 2012 he had a monster year — 31 dingers and a  NL leading 115 runs knocked in.

And he could be had.

He’s in a contract  year at $10.5 million — a free agent at season’s end.

Which means the Pods want to dump him and get anyone that walks, talks and can chew gum. —  all at the same time. Kendrick, also in a contract year, would no doubt bring Headley. But if the Pods are desperate, maybe Mr. Amaro could get  him and keep Kendrick.

At the season’s end, they could let Headley go or resign him. Or, if they fall out of contention, they could trade Headley before the deadline.

Ashe and Franco need more time to develop.  If the club is serious about making a run, they need an upgrade at third.

The numbers scream now, not when they fall 10 back.


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