David Murphy had an interesting article recently where he projected the Phillies lineup for next year. It’s really not hard to do as almost everyone will be back. He is generously projecting that the Phillies will sign Cuban defector Rusney Castillo as their center fielder. Murphy predicts that he will land a contract in the neighborhood of $12 million a year for at least three years. The money is kind of irrelevant at this point as the Phillies won’t have a problem with that. As Murphy notes, however, the Red Sox and Yankees are also interested, two teams with a heck of a lot of money as well. If the Phillies do land Castillo, that means Revere would be traded or used as a bench player. Murphy lists both Brown and Ruf in left. If the Phillies were smart, they’d let Ruf play in left and let Brown try to regain his one-month swing down in AAA.
As for pitching, the Phillies will have some openings in the rotation. Lee won’t need surgery, so he most likely will be back as long as he has no more arm issues, which is not guaranteed whatsoever. Best case scenario for the Phillies is that Lee comes back strong and they can deal him at the deadline, while picking up a good portion of his option year. As for the free agent pitchers, the list isn’t that great, and I agree with Murphy they should just go for mid-level pitchers who would sign for fairly short deals. Amaro must realize the Phillies will not be good next year. It would be very difficult considering that most of the under-performing lineup will be back again. That was the problem this year. The offense is just not good enough.
As for 2016, there could be a decent chance that Aaron Nola could be in that rotation as long as he doesn’t get hurt or lit up in the minors. He was just called up to AA and pitched well in his first start. On top of that, Jesse Biddle is back on the mound, albeit for single A Clearwater, but at least he is pitching again. Best case senario for him would be to compete for a starting job in 2016 as well. If they still have Hamels around, that seems like it could be a decent rotation. But will Hamels be around? I guess we’ll have to see. I think they should trade him as I’ve said before, because I don’t think the Phillies will be good enough the next several years while he is under contract. If you are tired of this season and are dreading the lean years ahead, watch the video below of better days….