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Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski says they “can’t win”
The Philadelphia Phillies have rebounded from a rough stretch and won three games in a row, improving to 75-72 on the season.

Yet the Phillies have been plagued by pitching problems all season, and many of their games have been won by the skin of their teeth, such as the fifth double-blown-save game of the season earlier this week. They are two blown saves away from tying the MLB all-time record set by the 2004 Colorado Rockies.

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Since the Phils have trouble dispatching teams like the aforementioned Rockies, it’s fair to wonder exactly how they could win a playoff game against a more well-equipped team.

The Phillies have parted ways with a significant number of pitchers this season
This week, the club released recently-DFA’d pitcher Vince Velasquez. The longtime Phillies arm had struggled all season (and most of his time in Philly) but was almost immediately picked up by the San Diego Padres. The Phillies have also parted ways with numerous bullpen arms, as well as starter Chase Anderson. At this point in the season, it’s hard to keep track of how many pitchers have come and gone.

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On Thursday, the Phillies had thrown together a bullpen game in which Matt Moore and JD Hammer combined to allow seven runs to the Chicago Cubs, all in the span of the third inning. Despite the Phillies overpowering the Cubs by scoring 17 runs, the pitching side of the game left a sour taste in everyone’s mouths. It was a reminder of how little arm strength the team has, and what that means for a potential postseason run.

When asked about alternatives to bullpen games going forward, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said the team had “plenty” of “other options,” including the recently-released Velasquez:

“Do we have other options? Yes. We have plenty. One of our options is starting for the Padres today.

If we would’ve started him, everyone would have said ‘How can you start him?’ I mean, you can’t win. We have people we can start, sure. We just think this gives us the best chance to win.”

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Velasquez, for what it’s worth, allowed four earned runs on four hits in four innings in his Padres debut on Friday night. Dombrowski is absolutely correct that Velasquez could physically continue to pitch for the Phillies, but it would have been more of the same ineffectiveness.

Regardless of how this season turns out, hopefully, next season’s pitching is about quality over quantity.

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