The Phillies' pitching staff, once one of the game's best, may require an overhaul, Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. The club has used ten starters this season, which is the major league average, according to Gelb. However, stats such as the team's 4.29 ERA, good for second-to-last in the NL, indicate an inability to cope with even "an average amount of uncertainty" in the rotation. "Long guys, swing men, depth in the bullpen and depth in the triple-A level are a need," manager Ryne Sandberg commented. "That is very evident right now." More Sunday morning Phillies links:
- While Gelb highlights uncertainty in the rotation as a prime contributor to the Phillies' disappointing 2013 campaign, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says the club plans to tender Kyle Kendrick a contract in the offseason, meaning that four of the team's five rotation slots may already be filled. If Kendrick returns to the rotation, he and Cuban import Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez would likely slide in behind Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. "I don't know why people are asking about that," Amaro said of speculation on whether Kendrick will be tendered a contract, according to an article by Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. "We will."
- There appears to be mutual interest in catcher Carlos Ruiz returning to the club next year, according to Zolecki's piece. "I think mutually we would like to continue the relationship," Amaro said. "At some point we'll get together, negotiate, and see where it goes." Ruiz says he's happy in Philadelphia, but added that he plans to test the market if a deal isn't done before the World Series.
- Despite the Phillies' pitching woes, offense is also a need for a club that entered its final two games of the season averaging 3.75 runs per game, Zolecki writes on his blog.