Don’t Expect Phillies to Pick Up a Bat

There are two factors working against the Philadelphia Phillies picking up a bat, even with Raul Ibanez sidelined with a groin injury, Jimmy Rollins languishing in the low .200s, and a three-game sweep by the Blue Jays now complete.

First is that the Phils may have that replacement bat during Ibanez's recovery in John Mayberry Jr., who homered Thursday afternoon. Mayberry posted an .808 OPS during 210 Triple-A plate appearances in 2009, suggesting he can be an adequate bat in Ibanez's absence.

But the bigger issue is the Phillies will need to save their prospects for a deal or deals for arms. Joe Blanton, after Thursday's start, has a 5.28 ERA. Considering he is Philadelphia's de facto number two starter, that won't get it done.

Worse still is the bullpen situation. Brad Lidge is sidelined with a knee injury, and now Ryan Madson, who had been dominant, has hit a rough patch at exactly the wrong time, blowing up in two of the three games against Toronto.

So which should be the priority right now for Philadelphia: starter or reliever?


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