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HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 29: Philadelphia Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski looks on before Game Two of the 2022 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

Phillies fans were laser-focused on the Phillies’ need for a left fielder at the trade deadline. Bryce Harper is playing more and more 1st base. Meaning Kyle Schwarber will get to DH more often. Creating an opening for someone else to play leftfield. And fans wanted that to be someone who came over at the deadline. Ideally a right-handed power hitter. The Phillies had something else in mind though.

When the clock hit 6 pm last night, the only moves they had made were for Michael Lorenzen, and Rodolfo Castro. Pitching depth, and an upgrade over Josh Harrison off the bench. Not exactly moves that will get you out of your seat. Lorenzen will give them a safety net at starter in case someone gets hurt. It also allows them to go with a 6-man rotation. Keeping all of their starters a bit fresher. Which should help guys like Nola and Wheeler.

They were attached to some Outfielders. But some of those names did not even get moved. And the ones who did, are not exactly difference makers. The addition of the 3rd Wild Card Spot, and seeing the Phillies make it to the World Series last year out of that spot, had a lot of teams unwilling to be sellers at the deadline. Instead, many teams on the bubble tried to improve their roster at the deadline. That made the price to get a good name high, and it was a price Dave Dombrowski was apparently unwilling to pay. Meaning now it will be up to the guys already in Red Pinstripes to fix the issues in the lineup.

But even though the Phillies did not come away with any big names at the deadline, there are some things we as fans can take away.

Here are 3 things we learned from the Phillies’ quiet Trade Deadline:

  • They Trust The Combination of Christian Pache and Johan Rojas

    We all thought the Phillies had a need for a left-fielder. The Phillies’ unwillingness to move top prospects suggests they do not share that belief. Dombrowski is not known for being cheap, and unwilling to move prospects if there is a way to improve his team. In fact, Red Sox and Tigers fans will tell you the opposite. When Dave was there, he was at times too willing to move prospects and left their team’s farm systems lacking in talent. If he felt like it was a dire need, the Dombrowski we have seen with other teams would have paid the price it took to fill it.

    So what makes Dombrowski think they do not need a Left-Fielder? Clearly, he thinks the answer is already on the team. And that answer would be the combination of Johan Rojas, and eventually Christian Pache when he comes back. And looking at what each of them have done in a small sample size, he may have a point.

    Rojas has only played in 12 games. But he has looked like he belongs. The power is not really there yet. But he does not look overwhelmed at the plate. He has kept his batting average over .300, even if it is mostly all singles. He came up huge the other night when his bases-clearing double gave the Phillies the lead. In the field, he has been near perfect outside of one error where he let a ball get passed him. And once he is on the bases, he is a major threat to steal.

    As for Pache, he has looked fantastic when healthy. In 49 at-bats he is hitting .327, with an OPS just under 1.000. That goes with gold glove-caliber fielding in the outfield. The problem is he has had two extended stints on the IL. First, he tore his meniscus, forcing him to miss all of May. Then once he returned and picked up his great play, he landed back on the IL when complications from an old surgery caused elbow discomfort. But he should be back at some point.

    At that point, Rojas may be sent back down. But one of the two guys could be seeing a lot more time in the Outfield on days Harper is at first. The only question is can they keep up their great numbers over a long period of time? That we will have to see. But what they know they will give us is elite fielding. And with them being in Center, it leads to the second biggest takeaway…

  • Brandon Marsh Will Be Playing More Left Field

    Brandom Marsh has been a bright spot for the Phillies. Yes at times he has made boneheaded plays in the field and on the bases. But he has some of the best numbers at the plate on the team and is mostly good in the field. Not as good as Pache/ Rojas though. And we have seen them more and more mess around with putting Marsh in left, and Rojas in Center. And that may be for the best.

    It is the position Marsh played with the Angels since he was not going to push Trout out of Center. But the Phillies needed a Center Fielder, so he was moved there when traded to Philly. But he just looks more comfortable, and instinctual, in left field. There are fewer of those mental errors we occasionally see from him in Center.

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 27: Brandon Marsh #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies catches a fly ball during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 27, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.

    (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    That may be what we see going forward this season. Is it what is best for the lineup? That depends on how Rojas and Pache perform at the plate going forward. But what it will do is turn a weakness for the Phillies, fielding, into a major strength. Nick Castellanos would be the only weak link out there. But even he has improved a ton this season. You would be going from a bottom 5 glove in Left, Schwarber, to arguably a top 5, Marsh.

  • They Are Banking On Guys Already Here To Figure it Out

    We would not be talking about the Phillies’ need for another bat if Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, JT Realmuto, and Bryce Harper were hitting the way they usually do. Those 5 players’ struggles, and the lack of Rhys Hoskins, are the reason there was any need for another hitter to begin with. Harper we can forgive because he is still hitting, just not for power, which probably comes down to his recovery from Tommy John’s. But the other 4 need to do better.

    And that is what the Phillies are telling you will happen. By not making a move, they are saying they believe Turner will start hitting and Castellanos will break out of his July slump. Hopefully, they are right. because right now the lineup can be tough to watch some nights.

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JULY 24: Trea Turner #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after getting ejected by home plate umpire Will Little #93 in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citizens Bank Park on July 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Orioles defeated the Phillies 3-2.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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