To get ready for this weekend’s series, Karilee of View from Section 116 and I answered some questions for each other. You can read my replies here.
What has been the biggest surprise for this season?
The biggest surprise is how awful this team has been. There is so much talent, but they cannot seem to get it together. At first, it was the offense, then it was the bullpen, then it was the starting pitching, then the defense and now we are back to the bullpen being the issue. If this team could get it all together, at the same time, they would be dominant, but they can’t, so they are terrible.
Which player do the Rays need to try to control?
The Rays will want to keep an eye on Carlos Ruiz. Chooch has the 4th best batting average in the NL and is having a career year. He’s very dangerous with the bat and behind the plate. He will gun a would-be basestealer down, then hit a homerun. Oh, and Cliff Lee is angry. That is probably not good news for you, but it could be if he let’s his emotions take control.
Going forward, what needs to happen for the Phillies to win the division?
This team needs its players back. Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard need to come back and put up numbers in the same area that they are capable of. Maybe not the top numbers, but somewhere in the ballpark.
With the trade deadline about 6 weeks away, are the Phillies buyers, sellers or standing pat?
I have no idea. I think a combination of both buying and selling is the best thing. Trade players like Joe Blanton and either Hunter Pence or Shane Victorino, but try to get a Chase Headley type player back. Not usually done, but it could happen. This team can’t stand pat, if for no other reason than guys from the DL will start coming off of it and changing the dynamics of the team (hopefully for the better.)