Anyone who has read 2015 MLB previews understands that the Philadelphia Phillies right now are not looking particularly strong. In fact, some publications have them as one of the worst teams in baseball. However, with a major market and a decent amount of money to work with, this team could make some decisions that could get them started on a rebuilding process. That rebuilding process could start as early as spring training.
Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are two aging pitchers who could easily be flipped to replenish the minor league system for the Phillies in 2015. Most people seem to think that it is not a matter of if, but when regarding these 2 left-handed pitchers. Philadelphia might be waiting until the middle of the season to pull off any type of trade, because there is a chance that they get off to a good start and stay in the playoff race. However, a rebuilding team needs to build from within, and they would both command some decent prospects.
Speaking of prospects, it is time to give some of their young players an extended look in spring training to see where they stand right now. The top prospect in the system right now is probably JP Crawford, but no one realistically expects the 20-year-old shortstop to be ready for the majors in 2015. However, guys like Aaron Nola, Maikel Franco, Ben Lively and Jesse Biddle could be ready to contribute in fantasy baseball this year.
Manager Ryne Sandberg knows that he has a tough task ahead of him, but he is hoping spring training will fix a few issues. Many people want to see if someone can emerge as a team leader on this roster. Many people look at Ryan Howard or Chase Utley filling that role, but injury issues and inconsistent play has kept them out of the lineup quite a bit. Until they have a better set up in the locker room, this team is not going anywhere in the National League East.
The above piece is from guest blogger Zack Kennedy.