The Philadelphia Phillies are facing the harsh reality that their season may be lost in light of the news that starting pitcher Roy Halladay is likely out for six to eight weeks due to shoulder pain.
Halladay, the second-highest paid Phillies starter behind Cliff Lee, now forces Philadelphia to move forward with a rotation consisting of nothing more than Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley, Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick.
"When you invest $70 million in a rotation, but end up only being able to pitch a $50 million rotation for a month or so, that really hurts," said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro. "And Cliff Lee and Hamels make up $36.5 million of that. So we now only have one Cy Young winner in our rotation and, for the first time in years, less than half of our rotation has made an All-Star Game. Less than half! It's pretty bleak."
Philadelphia's lineup has been similarly hamstrung this year with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard still on the shelf. In their absence, the Phillies have only been able to put out a lineup featuring Jimmy Rollins, Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco a quartet that has just nine All-Star Game appearances and six Gold Gloves between them. Meanwhile, Jonathan Papelbon is the only Philadelphia reliever making more than $11 million a season.
"Obviously, if it wasn't for the injures, I'd like to think we wouldn't be dead-last in our division," said manager Charlie Manuel. "But we've really been putting a team together with scotch tape every night. Really expensive, cutting-edge scotch tape. The best on the market. But still, scotch tape nonetheless. Some days I've even had to think first before writing up the lineup."
Amaro says he won't allow the Phillies to be done in by injuries again.
"With Roy, Chase and Ryan on the shelf, we're only playing with $120 million worth of players," he said. "It's almost impossible to win like that. I expect we'll be very active in free agency this year. I always want $200 million on the field in the majors and $100 million worth of reserves at the Triple-A level. It's my promise to our fans. But we won't let anyone feel sorry for us. There are haves and have-nots in this sport. But have-nots like us can still be competitive if we really play hard and do the little things."