When the Phillies new young GM Matt Klentak took over the equally youthful Phillies’ roster he had no expectation of being a buyer at July’s MLB trade deadline.
And, though the Phillies currently stand at an impressive 24-17, tied for the second most wins in all of baseball (as of Thursday afternoon), there is still a pretty good chance Philadelphia falls back to earth.
Their run-differential is a pretty telling number, at minus-28, the seventh worst in baseball. Really clutch hitting and stellar pitching, from both a solid starting staff and a potent bullpen, has helped them win nearly every series they’ve played for the last month.
So forget the negatives. And pretend the team is able to stay above .500 and in the mix for an NL Wild Card spot. Will the Phils — a team intending to rebuild — make a move to reach the playoffs in 2016?
“There will be nobody happier than me if we are still in playoff contention in July,” Klentak told CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury.”And if that happens we’re going to do everything we can to help this team improve and get better and make a run at it.”
Klentak is not paging through the trade block quite yet. He knows it is still extremely early, and does not want to sacrifice the Phillies’ seemingly bright future for something short-sighted and short-term.
“The job of a general manager is to balance both the short and the long term, and I need to be cognizant that right now we’re not even a quarter of the way through the season,” he said.
The Phillies have three more chances to pad the win-column with the last-place Braves coming to town this weekend. After the homestand, Philly will face the Tigers and Cubs on the road before returning home in June to host Washington. Things could change very quickly if they fail to contend with contenders in the next two weeks.
“We continue to be open-minded towards any types of additions and ways to improve,” Klentak said, “but right now the success of our team has been built on pitching and defense and we’re going to continue to respect that.”