Is It Time To Start Rebuilding The Phillies?

We’re only a couple of weeks into the season, and yes, the Phillies have gotten off to an inconsistent start. But it time to start trading away our favorite players and start, finally, rebuilding the team—knowing that there will be no follow-up in this group to the (gulp) 2008 World Series championship that’s (gulp) already five years in the past?

At ESPN, Dan Smyzborski says it’s time to give up:

The Phillies aren’t going to lose more games than the Astros, and certainly won’t be in the running to pick first in the 2014 draft, but the team’s recent dynasty is over. The club is still likely to limp to a .500 finish or thereabouts, but as one of the most feared teams in the league, all that’s left is to turn out the lights and pen the eulogy.

Philadelphia’s offense no longer has the horses to properly support even a dominant run by the top three pitchers in the rotation. Chase Utley remains — oddly for one of the key players in a big-market dynasty — a woefully underrated player, but as for the rest of the lineup, there’s just not much there.

One piece of the future remains a mystery, writes Yahoo’s Tell Williams. What the heck is going on with Dom Brown?

Offensively, Brown has a lovely swing, kind of an abbreviated version of Ken Griffey Jr. Brown doesn’t seem bothered by breaking pitches or changes of speeds. He’s never really seemed overmatched in the batter’s box at any point. From time to time he shows flashes of brilliance but doesn’t seem to find a groove, or at least one of any duration. Right now he’s hitting .228 with a double, two homers and six RBIs in 18 games. Mechanically, it just seems it’s a matter of time, or so the Phillies are hoping.

Defensively, he can’t be an absolute adventure. There are times when simply tracking a routine fly ball appears to have him dancing for proper position.

At least the pinch hitters don’t suck:

The Phillies entered Monday’s game leading the majors in home runs (3) from their pinch hitters. They also are tied for first in pinch RBIs (10) and extra-base hits (5), are second in hits (10), are tied for second in doubles (2) and are third in average (.313).

A year ago, the Phillies finished tied for 12th among all major league clubs with 23 pinch RBIs.

The best explanations for the success?

These guys — namely (Laynce) Nix, Kevin Frandsen, Freddy Galvis and Ezequiel Carrera — aren’t just pinch hitting. They’re starting games more regularly, which allows them to stay sharper.

How much longer, though, before it all comes together? Phils fans aren’t known for their patience, after all.