These guys. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
In his latest ESPN Insider post (subscription only), Buster Olney drops a sentence to the effect that Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. is not yet actively shopping Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino, but that other teams are keeping an eye on the situation.
To quote the Bhagavad Gita: "No shit, Sherlock."
This is a Phillies team that, at best, has been playing at 70-85% strength* all season, and is currently down arguably their three most productive and important players in Roy Halladay, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard.
*Not based on any mathematical formula whatsoever. Just an educated guess. Prove me wrong, children!
Reports indicate that Chase Utley will be back in the Phillies lineup on Wednesday night against the Pirates. Roy Halladay should be back in a month or so. Ryan Howard could also return by the end of July.
This is a team on the aggravating cusp of All-Out Irredeemable Suckitude and being on the fringe of the pennant race. With the talent about to return to the roster, there's a very real chance the team could fight its way back into the race. Not a great chance, but something.
With the current roster, this is a team that owes itself, the players, and the fans, a shot to see where they stand with Chase Utley back in the lineup, with Howard and Halladay close behind. If things continue to deteriorate and the team is hopelessly back in a few weeks and/or suffers more injuries or setbacks, then you hit the phones.
But not yet.