The Phillies and Contender Math

Recently, I have seen quite a few different debates on the Phillies’ status as buyers or sellers leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. There is certainly a legitimate argument to be made in favor of being a buyer (or having the illusion of buying), as it will keep casual fans engaged for longer, meaning they are tuned in to the TV and radio, as well as buying tickets and merchandise. You can even make an argument as a fan — saying “I will not enjoy watching Freddy Galvis and Cody Asche as much as Chase Utley and Michael Young” is legitimate, though not the basis by which a team is run.

However, the most spurious argument I have seen is that the Phillies are contenders for a playoff spot. They are 7.5 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East, and 5.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second Wild Card spot with only one team in between (the Nationals). The Phillies are well within striking distance of a post-season spot, particularly if they can continue their current run, having won five of their last six, and get on another one or two or three before the season runs out.

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Jimmy Rollins and the Vanishing Power

Don’t look now, but shortstop Jimmy Rollins is sporting a lower OPS than Ben Revere. Yes, Rollins is now behind Revere, who ended April with an OPS just barely above .450 and May below .600. At the age of 33 in the first year of his three-year, $33 million contract extension last season, Rollins hit 23 home runs and stole 30 bases, joining this group of players to hit at least 20 homers and swipe at least 30 bags at the age of 33 or older:

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